GUEST OPINION: Cap and trade funds on way

The "Follow This Story" feature will notify you when any articles related to this story are posted.

When you follow a story, the next time a related article is published — it could be days, weeks or months — you'll receive an email informing you of the update.

If you no longer want to follow a story, click the "Unfollow" link on that story. There's also an "Unfollow" link in every email notification we send you.

This tool is available only to subscribers; please make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.

Please note: This feature is available only to subscribers; make sure you're logged in if you want to follow a story.


Californians equally as compensation for the use of the sky, a common asset.

Recently the California Public Utilities Commission adopted a climate dividend policy for the part of the revenue generated in the electricity sector. In announcing its decision, the PUC wrote, "Returning revenues equally to all residential customers is more equitable and comports with the idea of common ownership of the atmosphere given that residential ratepayers will ultimately bear the increased costs as a result of the cap-and-trade program." Although the dividends are small — between $40 and $80 per household per year — they are nonetheless a start. Californians should begin to see this money reflected on their utility bills this year.

In 2015, California's cap and trade program will add the transportation sector, generating up to $6 billion per year. Depending on how auction revenues are spent, the economic bite on low- and middle-income families may become even more painful. In contrast, if dividends are issued, low- and middle-income people will be protected, the economy stimulated and investment dollars steered toward clean energy.

In the next six months many interests will vie for a piece of the AB 32 revenue pie. We urge decision-makers in Sacramento to follow the state Public Utilities Commission's example in keeping the interests of average Californians in mind and creating a model that might help move the rest of the country toward adopting a carbon price.

Mike Sandler is co-founder of the Climate Protection Campaign and former program manager at the Sonoma County Regional Climate Protection Authority. Barry Vesser is the deputy director of the Climate Protection Campaign.

Please read our commenting policy
  • No profanity, abuse, racism, hate speech or personal attacks on others.
  • No spam or off-topic posts. Keep the conversation to the theme of the article.
  • No disinformation about current events. Claims of "Fake News" will be delayed for moderation
  • No name calling. "Orange Menace", "Libtards", etc. are not respectful.
Send a letter to the editor

Our Network

Sonoma Index-Tribune
Petaluma Argus Courier
North Bay Business Journal
Sonoma Magazine
Bite Club Eats
La Prensa Sonoma
Emerald Report
Spirited Magazine