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GOP establishment figures Pete Wilson and George Shultz endorse California cap-and-trade plan

Two well-known names in the Republican Party establishment are weighing in to back Gov. Jerry Brown's cap-and-trade proposal.

Former Gov. Pete Wilson and former U.S. Secretary of State George P. Shultz issued letters Monday backing the proposal, which faces a decisive vote.

Update: Climate change legislation passes Legislature in bipartisan agreement >>

Wilson, in a letter to Republican lawmakers, pitched the plan as the least negative option within the state's existing efforts to combat climate change.

"The choices are limited, and unfortunately you are faced with what you can do to make a bad situation better," Wilson said, noting alternative efforts, such as a carbon tax, would be "truly disastrous for our state."

The fight against climate change in California gains an unlikely ally: Republicans >>

Shultz, meanwhile, praised the plan as something that would make Ronald Reagan "proud," calling it a "commonsense, free-market approach."

The appeal had limited effect in the Senate: Only one Senate Republican — Tom Berryhill of Modesto — voted for the proposal, which secured enough votes to pass but has not officially cleared the Senate yet.

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