California’s Cap and Trade Program

by Stephanie Laurancy

This article discusses California’s efforts in reducing greenhouse gas emissions particularly through discussing the extension of the cap-and-trade program. Republican assemblyman Matias Davis, was one of eight republican state legislators to support the cap and trade extension which would add a decade extending it to 2030. Cap-and-trade limits (puts a “cap” on) companies thus minimizing the number of greenhouses gasses they emit. Should the companies exceed the limit, they may be penalized and penalties may become more strict overtime. The trade portion comes in as a market where companies can buy or sell allowances that permit them to emit only a certain amount of emissions. Although the “cap” portion of cap and trade may be very strict, the trade part provides a great incentive for companies to save money by reducing emissions. Republicans in the state typically do not support the cap-and-trade as it has been describing as “government overreach”. Cap-and-trade has helped with the reduction of carbon emissions; however, the program still faces strong opposition.

The idea of the program being considered to be “government overreach” raises the point that we discussed in class: Should the government get involved in environmental policy?

I would love to hear your opinions on the article.


3 thoughts on “California’s Cap and Trade Program

  1. I think that the government has every right to implement cap-and-trade programs. Although it may hurt the profits of some big corporations, is can have a lasting effect on helping our environment. The program has proven to reduce gas emissions, which makes our air safer and could deter global warming and other environmental threats. I believe that the government should do everything in it’s power to improve our environment, even if it cuts some profits on big businesses.

  2. I agree that the Cap and Trade is a beneficial program. It is offering incentives to businesses to be more environmental friendly. As new factories start up, this encourages them to go a greener route when designing their plants process flow. For those older plants, that don’t want to invest in greener technology, they have the option of buying leftover permits from the greener companies. With this program in place, overtime we will see an increase in environmentally friendly businesses, and a decrease in non environmental ones. Buying the permits is not a realistic long term plan for businesses since it cuts into their profitability and will lead to their closure. This is a great example of why the government should be involved with environmental policy, as it benefits almost everyone.

  3. A cap and Trade Program is always an effective way of regulation. If companies could agree on these terms then bills for environmental policy could be passed much easier through the Republican Legislation that Donald Trump has established. Even California has agreed that they have seen positive results from this program, and even if the republicans want to shut this down for total control of industry, The Democrats would still have total power due to the fact it’s being practiced in California. The EPA would have to be subjected to this regardless the state who is running this program, because most people want to improve the environment in any way possible. Reducing emissions will indeed save money for certain companies but the trading alternative could lead to unnecessary financial confusion. I believe the companies should have incentives regarding their limitations due to the fact they have to regulate the pollution. Now with this strong opposition, California has made big strides forward considering how strict the regulations government has been with environmental policy.

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