09/15/2019

California Lawmakers Are Turning Cap-And-Trade Into The Slush Fund Critics Long Feared

For years, critics of California’s cap-and-trade program have lambasted it as a government slush fund. They say that politicians are able to dip into it to fund their pet projects or raid it to fill the shortfall of the moment — as long as they can assert a mildly credible connection between the spending and the state’s ambitious goals to fight climate change.

Well, California lawmakers are about to prove those critics right.

As part of the budget negotiations, lawmakers shelved Gov. Gavin Newsom’s controversial “water tax” that would have raised $140 million a year to help low-income communities finally clean up their contaminated water systems.

Instead, lawmakers plan to fund the much-needed water cleanups with $100 million a year in cap-and-trade dollars — money that is paid to the state by polluters and which is legally required to be spent on projects to reduce the greenhouse gases responsible for global warming.

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