Cap-and-Trade: 50 environmental groups oppose California’s Chevron-written bill AB 398

  • Published on July 18th, 2017

A broad and deep coalition of climate and environmental justice groups announce their opposition to AB 398, the cap-and-trade bill that began with a Western States Petroleum wish list.

By RL Millerclimate hawks vote
Climate Hawks Vote

“The Cap & Trade extension was written by the oil industry, is even worse than the current failed program, includes preemptions from local action, gives away so many free credits we will never meet climate goals, and allows oil refineries to expand indefinitely with no program for Just Transition to clean energy that is so desperately needed in EJ communities,” says Julia May, senior scientist at Communities for a Better Environment.

Background: California’s cap-and-trade bill is a giant wet kiss to big oil

“California can help ensure the world is still a liveable place for our grandchildren and great grandchildren, but only if we demonstrate the necessary leadership. We must reduce carbon emissions as aggressively as possible and do so without throwing our most vulnerable communities under the bus. Democrats in California must find the courage to reject the selfish, short-term priorities — and campaign contributions — of corporate polluters and embrace a climate policy that protects all Californians. We can do this, but not with AB398,” states Eddie Kurtz, executive director of Courage Campaign.

“AB 398 began as a Big Oil wish list, and it hasn’t improved since then.  The climate crisis demands a moral response, not another round of compromised politics. While we appreciate the governor’s desire to extend cap and trade, we suggest that he’s better off talking to the authors of SB 775 and/or tearing up this draft and starting again next year, with a bill that will put Californians’ health first,” says RL Miller, president of Climate Hawks Vote.

Update: Environmental justice & consumer organizations slam passage of Jerry Brown’s Chevron-written cap-and-trade bill

Over 50 groups, representing climate and environmental justice groups throughout the state, have announced opposition to AB 398. The bill is set for a floor vote in the state Senate on Monday, July 17. Groups include:

Californians for a Carbon Tax
Sierra Club California
Courage Campaign
350.org
Intex Solutions, Inc.
GIT Partnership
Fossil Free California
350 Bay Area
CA StateStrong
Ventura County Climate Hub
Azul
Wasteful and Unreasonable Methane Rising
SanDiego350
Universal Income Project
Climate Hawks Vote
350 Conejo-San Fernando Valley
SoCal 350 Climate Action
350 Silicon Valley
Food & Water Watch<
Sunflower Alliance
Friends of the Earth – US
California Environmental Justice Alliance
CAUSE
Indivisible East Bay
Rootskeeper
PODER
Communities for a Better Environment
Center for Biological Diversity
Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)
Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education
Progressive Democrats of America
Save Porter Ranch
Greenaction for Health and Environmental Justice
Fight Climate Denial
Divest LA
La Union Hace La Fuerza
Comite Civico del Valle
California for Progress
San Francisco Bay Area Chapter, The Climate Mobilization
Peninsula Interfaith Climate Action
Oakland Climate Action Coalition
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
South Bay (Los Angeles) 350
Idle No More SoCal
No Coal In Oakland
Insight Center for Community Economic Development
FUN (Fremont, Union City, Newark) Progressives
Consumer Watchdog
Oil Change International
Climate Truth
Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability

Additional quotes from coalition members:

“California is a worldwide leader in climate action, but AB398 reneges on this leadership by forsaking frontline communities. Californians deserve climate action for all, environmental justice groups are ready to work on better and more inclusive solutions”

Marce Gutiérrez-Graudiņš, Founder & Director, Azul

“Since Californians are bearing the burden of progress through higher costs, it’s critical that any extension of cap-and-trade include a Climate Dividend Fund that returns revenue directly to all state residents. AB 398 fails to protect the low- and middle-income communities hit hardest by a carbon tax.”

Jim Pugh, Co-Director, Universal Income Project

“Save Porter Ranch opposes AB 398. Oil and gas companies get more free credits to pollute in a faulty “pay to pollute” scheme. We are fighting Sempra on the Aliso natural-gas blowout. Sempra must be paying for the damage done by its pollution, not getting another tax break.”

Richard Mathews, Board Member, Save Porter Ranch

“This deal is climate policy written by billionaires for billionaires. Climate speculators and big polluters look to continue getting rich while affected communities around California and around the world are put in real danger by this greedy business as usual capitulation to Big Oil being perpetuated by Gov Brown and proponents of AB 398.”

Gary Graham Hughes, Senior California Advocacy Campaigner, Friends of the Earth

“We are extremely disappointed that Governor Brown would forsake California’s climate leadership by rushing AB398, a fundamentally flawed cap and trade bill, through the legislature. We must extend cap and trade in a manner that helps California reach climate targets, eliminates the flaws in the existing program, and prioritizes California communities, rather than giving massive handouts to the biggest polluters.”

Jiggy Athilingam, co-founder, CA StateStrong






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/