A group of 68 companies and business associations involved in the clean transportation industry have signed a letter expressing support for California’s cap-and-trade program and urged legislative leaders and Gov. Jerry Brown to extend the program through 2030.
The letter was spurred by the state legislature’s failure earlier this year to pass two separate bills, one of which would have extended the cap-and-trade program for a decade. The group said the program is working and leading to job growth in California, and that the state’s current suite of policies has led to new investments in the state, job growth, and cutting-edge technologies.
Under the state’s cap-and-trade program, which took effect in 2012, a firm limit, or "cap," is set on greenhouse gas emissions, and trading emissions credits creates incentives to reduce emissions through investments in clean technologies. Cap-and-trade is currently authorized to operate through 2020 in California.
“While the clean transportation technology industry is off to a promising start, its success cannot be taken for granted. Growth of the industry significantly depends on state incentive programs that have been funded by cap-and-trade—incentives that have been critical to helping young technologies compete on a cost basis against a diesel- and gasoline-dominated market,” said the letter, which was sent to Brown, state Senate President Kevin de Leon and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon.
The coalition letter was organized by CALSTART, a Pasadena, Calif.-based non-profit that works to accelerate the growth of the clean transportation technology industry. The signatories are mainly technology and manufacturing companies, but also include such entities as automaker Tesla, electric utility Southern California Edison and the San Diego Airport Parking Company.
According to the letter, the state’s cap-and-trade program has generated significant revenues and provided funding for key programs such as incentives for zero- and near-zero emissions cars, trucks, and buses.
“Cap-and-Trade is a good policy because it relies on the market to solve the problem, while making the polluters pay for the climate impacts of their product,” CALSTART President and CEO John Boesel said. “The clean transportation tech industry stands solidly behind Cap-and-Trade and urges the legislature and Governor to take action and extend the measure this year. The time is now to end the uncertainty around this program.”