Copyright 2014

McRae: Cap and trade auction doesn't negate California's economic growth

Californias economy has experienced transformative growth since AB 32, our signature climate change and clean energy law, passed in 2006. This growth is being overlooked amid news that the last cap and trade auction fell short of expected revenue.

If you were to believe the hype, you would think the cap and trade program is in crisis. A more focused look reveals a different picture.

Californias cap and trade program is not about one carbon auction, and its definitely not just a way to collect revenue. The program is one part of the states broader approach to climate change embodied by AB 32.

Cap and trade is a mechanism to reduce global warming pollution that threatens our regions quality of life -- but at its heart, its also about inspiring transformative growth toward a clean economy.

Companies like Tesla and ChargePoint are working to electrify the transportation sector as a result of AB 32s suite of clean energy-favoring policies; companies like SunPower and SolarCity have moved to decarbonize the power sector. AB 32 creates an environment where forward-thinking businesses thrive.

By ascribing a price to emitting carbon pollution, AB 32 puts a cost on waste and inefficiency. Ten years after its passage, the wisdom of this approach is clear.