Gov. Jerry Brown warned in a legislative committee hearing Thursday morning of threats to human existence and American democracy should lawmakers not pass his plan to fight climate change.
"A lot of you people are going to be alive, and you’re going to be alive in a horrible situation," Brown said turning to the crowd in the Senate Environmental Quality Committee hearing. "This isn't for me, I'm going to be dead. This is for you, and it's real!"
The 79-year-old Brown, Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Paramount) on Monday unveiled a plan to extend through 2030 the state's cap-and-trade program, which forces businesses to pay to pollute, and strengthen the state's air quality rules. Thursday morning was the first public hearing for the legislation.
Some of California’s decisions about how to use its water would be relegated to the federal government under a bill passed by the House on Wednesday.
Republicans say the bill would bring more water to the parched Central Valley. California's Democratic senators have promised to fight the bill in the Senate because it weakens California’s ability to manage its own resources.
The Gaining Responsibility on Water Act, sponsored by Central Valley Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford), was approved in the House by a 230-190 vote largely along party lines.
The leaders of the California Senate and Assembly pushed off a decision to renew cap and trade, the state's landmark program to fight climate change, until next week.
Why? In part because lawmakers want to pass legislation dealing with the state's housing affordability crisis at the same time.
“Housing is the biggest problem facing the state of California,” said Assemblyman Todd Gloria (D-San Diego), who has been pushing for faster action on housing. “While climate change, of course, is an existential threat, we can do both."
But he plans to show off a different side next week when he speaks at Comic-Con, the annual comic and pop culture festival in San Diego.
On July 22, Chiang and other state and local officials will speak on a panel about how they would deal with the damage wrought on localities by superhero battles such as those involving Superman and the Hulk.