Guest Blogger John Graham: California Court Decision Will Affect Future Use of Carbon Offsets to Mitigate Emissions of Development

Aerial view in San Diego, California, looking roughly north toward San Diego State University.

The California Court of Appeal Rules San Diego County’s Climate Action Plan Violates CEQA

The challenge to San Diego County’s Climate Action Plan (“CAP”) in Golden Door has been closely watched by many interested in the use of carbon offsets to mitigate GHG impacts in California. Simply put, carbon offsets are mechanisms that reflect off-site GHG reductions—from activities like reforestation—that can, in some cases, compensate for a project’s GHG …


Guest Blogger Alex Jackson: The Way Forward on Cap-and-Trade

Incorporate Elements of SB 775 and AB 378 to Build on a Proven Program

California is in the process of defining the next chapter of its world-renowned climate leadership. Having pioneered a set of policies over the past decade that have put the state on course to meet its greenhouse gas emissions limit in 2020, lawmakers now face the question of what role the state’s cap-and-trade program should play …


Guest Bloggers Michael Wara and Danny Cullenward: Understanding SB 775: A Realistic Path to Achieving California’s Climate Goals

SB 775 Provides a Strong Carbon Pricing Policy and Addresses Legal and Political Constraints

Two recent Legal Planet contributors have shared concerns about SB 775 over the last several days (Ann Carlson’s piece is here and Dallas Burtraw’s is here). We write here to provide context—economic, legal, and political—to help readers, and perhaps even these respected authors, better understand why the bill proposes to extend and evolve California’s approach …


Guest Bloggers Amy Vanderwarker and Kay Cuajunco: Equity at the Center: SB 775 and AB 378 Create New Path Towards More Equitable, Effective Climate Policy

By Prioritizing Equity, We Fight Climate Change, Improve Local Air Quality and Public Health, and Deliver Economic Benefits

California is at a crossroads in our strategy to fight climate change. With the current form of cap and trade due to end in 2020, our state is deciding to what extent carbon pricing will play a role in meeting the 2030 targets enacted in 2016, and if so, what the program will look like. …


Guest Blogger Dallas Burtraw: Three Revisions Not to Overlook in California’s New Cap-and-Trade Proposal, SB 775

The Proposal Would Eliminate Allowance Banking and Offsets, and Add a Border Adjustment Mechanism

The California cap-and trade-program is already the most rigorous and best-designed allowance market in the world. Its purpose is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change. But now the program requires adjustments for political and legal reasons. These adjustments will be a vitally important legislative decision – for the state and the …


“California Alone” Should Not Govern State Climate Policy

SB 775 Turns California Inward and Diminishes Its Role As Global Leader

Last week, Senator Bob Wieckowski (D-Fremont) introduced a new bill, SB 775, that would replace California’s cap-and-trade system with a new approach to regulating California’s greenhouse gas emissions beginning in 2021.  There is much to admire in the new bill, including an aggressive pricing approach that would ensure that California’s carbon price remains high.  The …


Constitutional Issues in Cap and Trade: New Light from an Unexpected Source

At the end of April, the Supreme Court decided an obscure case called McBurney v. Young about state public records law.  Quite unexpectedly, the court’s opinion turns out to be good news for state environmental regulators.  In particular, it clarifies how cap and trade relates to what lawyers call the dormant commerce clause — a …


California cap-and-trade offsets challenge rejected

Breaking: California has successfully weathered (at least in the lower court) another challenge to its cap-and-trade program.  A state court has affirmed ARB’s significant discretion to design offsets protocols that rely on standardized additionality mechanisms, denying a petition that had sought to invalidate those protocols.  Argus has the first story on this that I’ve seen. …


Will California’s cap-and-trade program get 85% of its reductions from offsets?

Will California’s greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade program meet 85% of its required reductions with offsets? That is the claim made in a complaint recently filed in a California Superior Court, seeking to throw out California’s offset regulations. (Citizens Climate Lobby v. CARB.) The complaint cites a NY Times article from 2011, in which someone from …


Sierra Club asks Gov. Brown to re-examine AB 32 cap-and-trade

On May 9, Sierra Club requested that Governor Jerry Brown “re-evaluate” the cap-and-trade rule promulgated by the California Air Resources Board.  The Sacramento Bee has some initial reactions and you can read the original letter here.  As noted in our earlier posts, CARB’s cap-and-trade rule has come under judicial scrutiny and its status is somewhat …