Cap-and-trade at center stage

Jul 12, 2017


Gov. Brown says the demise of California's cap-and-trade program would constitute a serious blow to the planet's battle against climate change.


Sacramento Bee's CHRISTOPHER CADELAGO: "With his international reputation as a climate leader at stake, Gov. Jerry Brown moved Tuesday to defend his efforts to extend the state’s cap-and-trade program, which the veteran Democrat described in an interview as a crucial method to reduce emissions from greenhouse gases."


“If we don’t get it, it’d be a tragedy for California, and for the world,” Brown said. “Because from China, to the European Union, people are looking to the California cap-and-trade program.”


"Brown and legislative leaders released legislation late Monday that would extend the program through 2030, an effort to bring more stability to the market it creates."


The governor may be faithful in cap-and-trade, but that sentiment is not entirely widespread. 

LA Times' MELANIE MASON/CHRIS MEGERIAN/TONY BARBOZA: "While rolling out their plan to extend California’s cap-and-trade program, Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative leaders have portrayed their proposal as a win on two fronts: reaching the state’s ambitious climate goals and tackling local air pollution."

"But beyond the triumphant rhetoric, there is ambivalence about the proposal, largely from progressive lawmakers and environmental advocates. Meanwhile, more conservative legislators and industry groups have stopped short of embracing the plan, throwing the swift passage Brown hoped for in doubt."

"The reactions to the proposal underscore a key tension in the debate over California’s self-styled role as a national and international climate leader, particularly as President Trumpslashes environmental regulations in Washington: How to balance aggressive action with broad political appeal."


Discussions over the controversial cap-and-trade 2030 extension agreement have shown the clout of business-friendly, moderate Democrats -- among others.


Capitol Weekly's JOHN HOWARD: "A hotly disputed agreement to extend California’s cap-and-trade program to 2030 partly reflects the power shift under way in the Legislature in which moderate, business-friendly Democrats are increasingly flexing their political muscle."

"It also shows the lobbying clout of the petroleum industry and divisions within the environmental community. Together, those factors have spurred legislation that effectively thwarts a measure that environmental justice advocates successfully sought last year."


"And it puts before the Senate and Assembly legislation that was blocked just weeks ago in a different form."


Floor votes are expected Thursday night in both houses. The governor, who announced the agreement on Monday, and leaders of both houses support the proposal.


Many advocacy groups are blasting lawmakers for their lax approach to police shootings.


Sacramento Bee's ALEXEI KOSEFF: "Frustrated by what they say has been an overly cautious response to a pressing problem, representatives from the National Action Network, the local chapter of the NAACP and other community groups lambasted state lawmakers that “lack the courage” to increase oversight of law enforcement agencies."


The DWR is asking the feds for permission to replace a portion of the Oroville Dam spillway.


Sacramento Bee's DALE KASLER: "The Department of Water Resources have asked federal regulators to let it demolish and replace an additional 240 feet of the spillway’s 3,000-foot concrete chute before the rains comes this fall, leaving less work for next year."


The House Appropriations Committee has revealed a $1.6b US-Mexican wall blueprint.

AP's ANDREW TAYLOR: "A House panel Tuesday unveiled legislation to begin building President Donald Trump's long-promised wall along the U.S-Mexico border. Mexico, however, will not be footing the bill."

"The move by the House Appropriations Committee again puts the Trump administration and its allies on Capitol Hill on a collision course with Democrats who oppose the wall and succeeded in blocking a request by Trump to deliver the money when passing an omnibus spending measure earlier this spring."

"Democrats objected to the funding and significant opposition surfaced among Republicans as well, many of whom have problems with the wall. The administration and congressional Republicans took a pass on forcing the issue in May but vowed to fight for the wall this summer and fall."


Legal experts all agree: Trump Jr. is up the creek without a paddle over the latest Kremlingate reveal.


The Chronicle's BOB EGELKO: "It’s illegal for a U.S. political campaign to ask a foreign person or government for “anything of value” — and that’s what Donald Trump Jr. appears to have done in agreeing to meet with a Russian government lawyer during his father’s presidential campaign, legal and ethics scholars said Tuesday."

"Trump Jr.’s newly revealed emails about a June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York, also attended at his invitation by Jared Kushner, the candidate’s son-in-law and adviser, and Paul Manafort, his father’s campaign chairman, lay out “a serious case ... of solicitation” of an illegal foreign contribution, Richard Hasen, a professor of election law at UC Irvine, said in a blog post."

"Hasen noted Trump Jr’s response when a friend with Russian connections emailed him that a lawyer from the Russian government could provide the campaign with “official documents and information that would incriminate Hillary (Clinton) and her dealings with Russia.”


Trump's pick to replace the ousted James Comey as head of the FBI is due for his confirmation hearing today.

LA Times' JOSEPH TANFANI: "President Trump’s choice to replace fired FBIDirector James B. ComeyChristopher Wray, goes before senators for his confirmation hearing on Wednesday, likely to face tough questions about his independence from the White House amid the roiling controversy over Trump associates’ dealings with Russia."

"Wray was nominated by Trump last month to lead the agency currently investigating Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election and its possible coordination with the Trump campaign. The president fired Comey on May 9 after Comey resisted what he said was Trump’s request to back off on the Russia inquiry — and dodged what he described as the president’s pressure to declare his loyalty."

"The firing led to the Justice Department’s appointment of a special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, who continues to investigate the original allegations as well as whether the president was trying to obstruct justice with Comey’s firing"


Many Republicans are keeping a low profile about the Kremlingate controversy because they are afraid to distance themselves from their constituents, who still largely support the president and don't believe the Trump/Russia narrative.


LA Times' LISA MASCARO: "Three times on Tuesday Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell was asked about Donald Trump Jr.’s attempt during the campaign to collect damaging information about Democrat Hillary Clinton from Russia."

"And three times the Republican leader swatted back the inquiries, bluntly saying he would rely on the investigations already underway into the Trump administration’s Russia ties and make no further comment."

"The back and forth was a well-worn script that continues to play out on Capitol Hill amid the almost daily drip-drip-drip of new details about possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia in the 2016 election."


A remedy to stabilize health insurance markets could see bipartisan support as Senate Republicans stall over healthcare reform. 

LA Times' NOAM N. LEVEY: "With Senate Republicans struggling to find votes for sweeping legislation to roll back the Affordable Care Act, several GOP lawmakers have raised the prospect of a more limited bill — passed with help from Democrats — to stabilize health insurance markets around the country."

"That may be heresy for conservative Republicans who’ve spent seven years demanding the full repeal of Obamacare, as the law is often called."


Meanwhile, conservative intellectual and pundit Ben Shapiro has been invited to speak at UC Berkeley.

The Chronicle's NANETTE ASIMOV: "Conservative columnist Ben Shapiro — whose pro-Israel musings have pleased the right and angered the left  has accepted an invitation to speak at UC Berkeley on Sept. 14, student groups announced Tuesday."

"Shapiro is the third in a string of conservatives invited this year to the famously liberal campus by the Berkeley College Republicans. The first two talks never took place."

"On Feb. 1, rioters caused $100,000 of damage on the UC Berkeley campus — smashing windows and setting police equipment ablaze — to stop a scheduled speech by right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos."


President Obama may soon be getting a segment of Ventura freeway named after him.


City News Service: "A resolution to name a segment of the 134 Freeway near Occidental College after Barack Obama, who attended the Eagle Rock school for two years, has moved another step forward, a state senator said today."

"The Assembly Transportation Committee voted 11-3 on Monday to rename the stretch of the Ventura Freeway between the 2 and 210 freeways the President Barack H. Obama Freeway, according to Sen. Anthony J. Portantino, D-La Canada Flintridge."

"The legislation, which next goes before the full Assembly, has already passed the state Senate."



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