SAN FRANCISCO — The California Council for Environmental and Economic Balance (“CCEEB”) announced today its support for AB 398, a bill that would extend the state’s historic cap-and-trade program through 2030.
“There has never been a more important time for California’s leadership,” said CCEEB Chairman Walter McGuire. “Frankly, Washington is moving in the wrong direction. But California is big enough, smart enough, to fill this vacuum and show our partners—here in the U.S. and internationally—that American businesses are committed to fighting climate change, and even now are taking steps to reduce greenhouse gases.”
“We take seriously the threat of global climate change to public health, the health of the planet, and to our economic systems and infrastructure. So we stand with the governor, the speaker, and the senate president pro tem in support of Assemblymember E. Garcia’s bill,” said CCEEB President Gerald Secundy.
“Cap-and-trade covers more than 450 businesses, totaling about 80% of statewide emissions and employing many thousands of workers. Other options cost as much as thirty times more, but don’t do any better reducing emissions. It makes sense to continue doing what we’re doing right,” said Jose Mejia, CCEEB vice chairman and director of the California State Council of Laborers. “California workers are on the frontline. It’s our jobs at stake. We’ve got to be honest—reducing greenhouse gases is hardly cost-free, but it in the end it’s what we must do for our environment and economy. By keeping jobs in California, we keep the economic benefits and help businesses be the cleanest and most efficient in the world. That doesn’t happen when businesses leave.”
“This is where investments are being made. This is where we’re creating technologies for cleaner cars and trucks, cleaner fuel and energy production, and for sustainable industry and infrastructure,” said Robbie Hunter, CCEEB board director and president of the State Building & Construction Trades Council. “Cap-and-trade spreads our efforts to partners in industry and the environment far beyond California. It’s more than just symbolic leadership.”
Responding to criticism of the program, Secundy explained, “Saying industry ‘wants’ cap-and-trade is like saying you want to go to the dentist. You don’t do it because you like it; you do it because it’s important to your health. But you aren’t going to ask for it to be more painful than it has to be.”
Secundy concluded saying, “Cap-and-trade gives us a clear path where we know we’re creating green jobs, rebuilding our infrastructure, and fighting climate change. We support the governor, Assemblymember E. Garcia and AB 398 because we see the need for this balance.”