California Governor Jerry Brown: Climate champ or Chevron stenographer?

  • Published on June 29th, 2017

Governor Jerry Brown has spent his last few weeks flying around the world and collecting accolades for his climate activism, but at home he’s been working to undercut a state bill to improve and extend California’s landmark climate law – by using Chevron’s wish list .

By RL MillerCalifornia Governor Jerry Brown by DonkeyHotey
Climate Hawks Vote

Yep. California’s climate leader is acting as the stenographer for Chevron.

I couldn’t believe it myself until I pieced it all together. I got hold of the wish list put together by Latham and Watkins, the expensive law firm working for Western States Petroleum Association (mostly, Chevron) for tweaking reforms to California’s landmark climate law, AB32, which expires in 2020.

WSPA wants:

  • to extend the program only ten years to 2030
  • keep the allowances cheap at $12-50/ton (and even continue to give away some free allowances)
  • bar local air districts from creating greenhouse gas regulations for local air quality tougher than California state regulations
  • make it easier for polluters to buy offsets out of state.
  • include detailed monitoring of toxins at refineries and other large polluters so that (mostly poor minority) people would know just how much deadly crap they breathe in every day.

Meanwhile, state senate Pro Tem Kevin DeLeon and state senator Bob Wieckowski introduced SB 775 to bring real reform to carbon pricing: require California refineries to clean up their pollution at home, end the scandalous practice of buying carbon offsets far offshore, set a more realistic market for carbon (up to $120/ton), no free allowances to pollute, and a climate dividend for every California resident.

So what does climate hero Gov. Jerry Brown do? He ignores SB 775 and the science behind it, refuses to talk with its authors, and circulates his own proposals:

  • extend the program only to 2030
  • keep the allowances cheap at $12-63/ton (and even continue to give away some free allowances)
  • bar local air districts from creating greenhouse gas regulations for local air quality tougher than California state regulations
  • make it easier for polluters to buy offsets out of state
  • Oh, and he includes detailed monitoring of toxins at refineries and other large polluters so that (mostly poor minority) people would know just how much deadly crap they breathe in every day.

You see how that works?

California deserves better than a governor acting as the oil industry’s stenographer on California’s landmark climate initiative.

Click here to tell Gov. Jerry Brown: Stop taking your climate negotiating points from Chevron.

(Image CC by Donkeyhotey)

About the Author

The chair of the Democratic Environmental Caucus, RL Miller also runs Climate Hawks Vote, which backs candidates for office who are serious about taking action on climate change. http://climatehawksvote.com/