California Lawmakers Stretch Limits of Greenhouse Gas Proceeds

By James Nash, Bloomberg.

California lawmakers are finding it may not be so easy to spend more than $2.9 billion in proceeds from auctioning greenhouse gas credits in the state’s landmark cap-and-trade market.

Buoyed by higher revenue estimates from selling pollution permits to companies, Democratic leaders of the Senate and Assembly are looking to pump money into communities most affected by toxins, improve the efficiency of farms and even ward off mosquitoes.

Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat, has other plans for some of that carbon-auction revenue. Businesses say the money should help companies that pay for the credits compete with those in states that don’t charge polluters. And California’s fiscal analyst says some of those proposed uses may not even be legal.