The Golden State refuses to let America be left behind in the fight for the future of the planet.
Donald Trump has singlehandedly been working to set back U.S. climate policy 50 years.
He outraged the world by exiting the Paris climate agreement. He fired scientists from government advisory positions. He signed a bill to let coal mines dump waste into streams. He is trying to undo the Clean Power Plan, fuel economy standards for cars, offshore drilling restrictions, and solar tax credits.
But at the state level, politicians are fighting back, and nowhere more so than in California.
On Monday, the California state legislature passed a sweeping deal to extend the state’s current cap and trade program until 2030. The law requires businesses to buy credits based on their volume of greenhouse pollution.
The passage of this bill is a rare bipartisan victory. Democrats control both chambers of the California legislature, but the bill required a supermajority. Republicans cast the deciding votes, amid the endorsement of prominent California GOP politicians like former Gov. Pete Wilson.
California has been at the forefront of the climate change fight ever since Trump was elected. Gov. Jerry Brown made news in December for telling Trump that if he scuttles climate research satellites, “California will launch its own damn satellites.”
More recently, Brown helped found the United States Climate Alliance, a group of state and local governments pledging to abide by the Paris climate agreement even after the federal government withdraws. So far, 10 states, including two with Republican governors, have joined, as well as several major cities.
Even if Trump is willing to turn his back on our allies and our future to roll back the clock on environmental protection, states like California are standing up and assuming the mantle of leadership. The fight for the environment is a fight for the secure future of human civilization, and Trump cannot stop that fight.