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California Prop. 70 — Cap-and-trade and climate change

Power plants are major sources of greenhouses gases.


California’s Proposition 70 is about cap-and-trade money, so at its core, it’s a proposition about how the state is addressing climate change.


That’s because cap-and-trade is a program designed to curb the use of greenhouse gases. Certain companies need to get permits for the greenhouse gases they create.


Money from these permits goes into a state fund called the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund. And the state decides how they want to spend this money as part of the annual budget process — it requires a simple majority vote in the legislature.


But some politicians think that’s too low of a bar to decide which programs get this money. Proposition 70 would, starting in 2024, require a one-time approval by two-thirds of the legislature — a supermajority — to spend the cap-and-trade money. The fund would be frozen until this supermajority is reached.




Gov. Jerry Brown and the California Chamber of Commerce support Proposition 70. They say a two-thirds vote will make sure that the minority Republican Party will have more of a say in where the cap and trade money goes.




The California Democratic Party and environmentalists like billionaire Tom Steyer oppose the proposition, saying it will stall clean energy progress because it will be more difficult for lawmakers to ever reach a consensus.


That’s because nly one-third of the legislature would be needed to halt climate change programs that they didn’t like.



There’s one committee registered in support of Proposition 70 — but they hadn’t raised any money as of April 24. There aren’t any committees or official funders of the No on 70 campaign.




So, if in 2024, you’d like to suspend cap and trade spending until two-thirds of the state legislature agrees on where that money should go, vote yes on Proposition 70.


If you want climate spending to continue with a simple majority vote, vote no.