Analysts Worry Calif. Climate Change Program Is Doing Too Well


Publish Date:
December 5, 2017
  • Bradford, Ben
Capital Public Radio News
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California is swimming in $1.5 billion in new money for clean energy programs and the high-speed rail project, after lawmakers extended the climate-change program, cap-and-trade. But analysts suggest the current boom could ultimately undermine the program’s purpose of cutting long-term emissions.

Sales of cap-and-trade credits—which businesses must obtain in order to legally emit greenhouse gases—have soared in the second half of 2017, after a year of uneven returns.

“It could mean a very significant overshoot of the target,” says Michael Wara, an energy attorney at Stanford who has consulted on the cap-and-trade program. “It could well be that we have emissions that are much higher than that, because of overallocation, because of banking, because it makes sense to save up allowances early when it’s cheap to do

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