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AEE: Extend Cap-and-Trade in Golden State

August 11, 2016 By Cheryl Kaften

Advanced Energy Economy (AEE) – an association of businesses working to make energy secure, clean, and affordable – is calling on the California Legislature to focus on creating regulatory and market certainty for companies in the Golden State.

This goal would be accomplished, the group states, by continuing the cap-and-trade system “that is now on track to reduce emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, as required by the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (Assembly Bill 32).

Admittedly, AEE acknowledges, after three years of successful auctions of emission allowances – which sent a market signal favoring low- and zero-emission energy sources and generated revenue for emission-reducing investments – recent auctions have fared poorly, due to uncertainty about the program’s future past 2020.

However, the group advises legislators, “Setting a 2030 greenhouse gas emissions limit and extending the state’s cap-and-trade program are essential to ensuring low-cost emission reductions and continued advanced energy investment in California.”

“California’s leadership on energy and climate has helped to create an advanced energy industry with more than half a million workers in the state,” said AEE CEO Graham Richard. “The legislature now has the opportunity to keep the momentum going for jobs and economic growth.”

AEE’s overall legislative priorities for this session of the legislature include:

  • Extending the AB 32 Cap-and-Trade Program – to open and expand markets for renewable, clean, and distributed energy resources and provide businesses with regulatory certainty beyond 2020
  • Investing Greenhouse Gas Reduction Funds to achieve maximum economic and environmental benefits – by leveraging revenue to spur market development and attract private capital, and aligning investments with the state’s energy, emissions reduction, and water conservation strategies
  • Aligning legislative and regulatory priorities for effective implementation – by providing agencies with adequate resources and capacity to make new laws and programs successful

In addition to SB 32, advanced energy business leaders will express support for bills including AB 1330 , which would ensure sufficient funding to implement energy efficiency mandates; AB 2454, which would require investor-owned utilities to consider the cost-effectiveness of demand response resources; and AB 1612, which would secure additional funds for distributed energy storage.

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