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Gov. Jerry Brown signs climate change legislation to extend California's cap-and-trade program

Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, left, a Republican, and Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, shown last year, are both cap-and-trade proponents. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)
Former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, left, a Republican, and Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, shown last year, are both cap-and-trade proponents. (Rich Pedroncelli / Associated Press)

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation on Tuesday to extend California's cap-and-trade program, solidifying the state's battle against global warming as President Trump withdraws from the fight in Washington.

The legislation, Assembly Bill 398, will keep cap and trade operating until 2030 rather than letting it expire in 2020. The five-year-old program, the only one of its kind in the country, requires companies to buy permits to release greenhouse gas emissions.

"You're here witnessing one of the key milestones in turning around this carbonized world into a decarbonized sustainable future," Brown said.

It was the same location used by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006 when he signed Assembly Bill 32, which provided the foundation for cap and trade. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, joined Brown on Tuesday, providing a bipartisan display of continuity.

Cap and trade was hotly debated in Sacramento, with some environmental activists fearing the new legislation wouldn't be stringent enough and some conservatives warning about increased costs for Californians. But Brown pieced together a broad coalition to pass the legislation, winning over several Republicans, national environmental groups and major business organizations.

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