California cap and trade could go to ballot

By Jeremy B. White, Sacramento Bee.

The fight to extend California’s climate change program could mean putting the issue before voters, a top aide to Gov. Jerry Brown said on Thursday as the governor launched a new ballot measure committee.

In publicly proclaiming the possibility of shifting from the Legislature to the ballot box, the Brown administration underscored its commitment to fortifying its climate change efforts, which the governor has placed at the center of his fourth and final term, despite resistance from some legislators.

As the legislative session accelerates into its final stretch, the fate of California’s cap-and-trade system has dominated talk at the Capitol. Established under the auspices of a 2006 bill, the system requires businesses to buy permits for the climate-altering emissions they put into the air.