Statement on Legislature’s Passage of Cap & Trade and Air Quality Bills

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Assemblymember David Chiu (D-San Francisco) issued the following statement tonight after voting for Assembly Bills 617 and 398, which will improve California’s air quality and extend the landmark cap and trade program.

“This is a historic moment for California as we double down on our climate goals and the future of our state and our planet.

For the first time, we are linking our air quality goals to a climate program and increasing air pollution penalties that have not changed since the 1970s. We will require facilities operating with outdated emissions control technology to upgrade their equipment. And California will be able to connect to cap and trade programs in other states and nations, which will expand our carbon trading market.

I’ve had significant concerns about giveaways to the oil industry in this package.  I voted for a more progressive cap and trade bill that failed (AB 378), and hoped to vote for a different version today. However, I am certain - as indicated by the support of many environmental groups such as the League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense Fund and NextGen Climate - that this was the only deal that could garner the supermajority support needed to extend cap and trade.

The consequences of walking away from the cap and trade program far outweigh those of voting for an imperfect deal. While this was not an easy decision, this package represents real, tangible progress on the most important issue for future generations.

Assemblymember David Chiu (D – San Francisco) is the Chair of the Housing & Community Development Committee of the California State Assembly. He represents the 17th Assembly District, which encompasses eastern San Francisco.