By Chris Megerian and Ralph Vartabedian : latimes – excerpt
The linchpin of California’s climate change agenda, a program known as cap and trade, has become mired in legal, financial and political troubles that threaten to derail the state’s plans to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
The program has been a symbol of the state’s leadership in the fight against global warming and a key source of funding, most notably for the high-speed rail project connecting San Francisco and Los Angeles.
But the legality of cap and trade is being challenged in court by a business group, and questions are growing about whether state law allows it to operate past 2020. With the end of the legislative session in August, Gov. Jerry Brown, lawmakers and interest groups of all stripes are laying the groundwork for what could become a battle royal over the future of California’s climate change programs.
Unless the state acts, “the whole system could fail,” said Senate leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles). “If that happens, we could lose an entire stream of revenue to make our communities more sustainable.”… (more)