SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Gov. Jerry Brown’s climate change fight took a new turn on Thursday.
Brown testified before a legislative committee, with a final push for the state’s cap and trade plan, set to expire in three years. The measure is aimed to protect the environment from polluters. But it’s in trouble after not securing enough Democratic support.
“Maybe not in my life, I’ll be dead—what am I 79? What do I have five years more?” said Brown.
Governor Jerry Brown made his case for the next generation.
“Most of you people—when I look out here—a lot of you people are going to be alive,” said Brown looking out to the audience.
And some of his biggest supporters were, in fact, the smallest ones in the crowd.
“It could do a lot of good,” said Jackson Boaz.
Jackson Boaz may be 12 years old. But he’s an intern for a state senator, and a fan of the governor’s long standing cap and trade policy.
“It caps emissions that would definitely help the air quality in a lot of places that have bad air quality,” said Boaz.
Air- quality that 12-year old Angelika Soriano also blames on climate change.
“Earth is telling us right now that it’s being harmed. There are a lot of signs—floods, hurricanes,” said Soriano.
For environmentalists, climate will only worsen under the Governor’s plan.
“It builds the gas chambers for our children’s future and our climate’s future,” said scientist Greg Karras.
He wrote a report on cap and trade. He says what it does – forcing businesses to pay to pollute- gives too much back to the oil industry. Brown maintains the only thing it gives back is cleaner air for all of California.
Yet, he’s failing to secure enough support from his own party.
“Please you guys come on along,” he said to lawmakers.
And Republicans aren’t buying it either.
“He’s asking Republicans to carry the burden,” said state Sen. Ted Gaines (R-El Dorado).
Gaines says that burden comes in the form of higher costs for businesses, and in return, higher gas prices for the rest of us.
“I’m getting my information from the Legislative Analyst’s Office, and their estimate is that gas taxes will go up as much as 73 cents per gallon, said Gaines.
But Brown maintains the goal is reducing pollution in the Golden State, and paving the way for the rest of the world to do the same.
“California’s cap and trade system is copied by the biggest country in the world—China. Don’t throw this thing out,” he demanded.