Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Help Support EcoWatch

California's Cap-and-Trade Program Upheld in Court

Energy
California's Cap-and-Trade Program Upheld in Court

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock

The Sacramento Superior Court upheld California's cap-and-trade program just five days before the fifth scheduled carbon auction.

The California Chamber of Commerce and Pacific Legal Foundation filed lawsuits claiming the one-year-old program, which auctions off the right to emit greenhouse gases, was unconstitutional. The court sided with the state, which countered that auctioning carbon permits holds polluters accountable for making an adverse impact on the climate.

"Today's decision marks another win for the Golden State’s clean energy economy and the communities across California hit hardest by climate pollution," said Erica Morehouse, an attorney with the Environmental Defense Fund. "The court sent a strong signal today, thoroughly affirming California’s innovative climate protection program—including the vital safeguards to ensure that polluters are held accountable for their harmful emissions."

Last year, the California Chamber of Commerce filed its lawsuit the day before the first auction, arguing that carbon-emissions permits amount to unconstitutional taxes. The chamber and the Pacific Legal Foundation believe the auction process was meant to penalize the state's biggest  industries because Assembly Bill (AB) 32 didn’t receive two-thirds supermajority votes when the state Legislature enacted the law seven years ago, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The court agreed with the two groups, whose lawsuits added that AB 32 didn’t explicitly authorize the state to auction carbon credits. Still, the argument wasn't compelling enough in the court's eyes.

"Although AB 32 does not explicitly authorize the sale of allowances, it specifically delegates to [the Air Resources Board] the discretion to adopt a cap-and-trade program and to 'design' a system of distribution of emissions allowances," according to the court's decision. "The court does not find [the] petitioners' arguments persuasive."

 To date, the first four auctions have raised $395 million for the state.

"The court affirmed today what the overwhelming majority of Californians want—to move forward with clean energy solutions that help reduce pollution and create opportunities for clean energy innovation," said Alex Jackson, a Natural Resources Defense Council attorney. "The decision clears the way for California to continue pursuing the critical goals of the Global Warming Solutions Act."

Visit EcoWatch’s ENERGY page for more related news on this topic.

Eating lots of fruits and vegetables will boost the immune system. Stevens Fremont / The Image Bank / Getty Images

By Grayson Jaggers

The connection between the pandemic and our dietary habits is undeniable. The stress of isolation coupled with a struggling economy has caused many of us to seek comfort with our old friends: Big Mac, Tom Collins, Ben and Jerry. But overindulging in this kind of food and drink might not just be affecting your waistline, but could potentially put you at greater risk of illness by hindering your immune system.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

A graphic shows how Rhoel Dinglasan's smartphone-based saliva test works. University of Florida

As the world continues to navigate the line between reopening and maintaining safety protocols to slow the spread of the coronavirus, rapid and accurate diagnostic screening remains critical to control the outbreak. New mobile-phone-based, self-administered COVID-19 tests being developed independently around the world could be a key breakthrough in making testing more widely available, especially in developing nations.

Read More Show Less

Trending

A meteorologist monitors weather in NOAA's Center for Weather and Climate Prediction on July 2, 2013 in Riverdale, Maryland. Mark Wilson / Getty Images

The Trump White House is now set to appoint two climate deniers to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in one month.

Read More Show Less
A plastic bag caught in a tree in New Jersey's Palisades Park. James Leynse / Stone / Getty Images

New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.

Read More Show Less

Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.

Read More Show Less

Support Ecowatch