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Cap-and-Trade Companion Bill May Fall Short Of Closing Air Pollution Loophole

Jul 25, 2017

Lost in the coverage of the extension of California's cap-and-trade system is another bill that aims to reduce local air pollution in communities like the San Joaquin Valley. AB-617 aims to increase oversight of major stationary sources of pollution that are also regulated by cap-and-trade. Under the law, the state will now make public more data on pollution sources, and local air districts will be required to develop plans to bring these facilities into compliance with the latest available emission control technology. However, the final bill fails to close a loophole that allows polluters to avoid making those upgrades by purchasing emission reduction credits. To explain more we spoke with Julie Cart, a Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter with Cal Matters, who reports even the bill's author calls it a "downpayment" to environmental justice.