World War II, apparently a moment of greatness in the eyes of both left and right, contains some crucial examples of the kind of leadership and social cooperation that we need now. When war was declared, it was necessary that American industry -- makers of cars and lipstick and baseball gloves -- convert to producing tanks and planes and bullets. Did corporations convert at their own pace, according to their own needs? No, they were all required to convert immediately.
This is Essential Politics, our daily feed on California government and politics news. California politicos reflected on leadership on climate policy at a reception Wednesday to celebrate the state's landmark climate laws. "We've proven that we don't have to choose between a healthy environment and a strong economy," Senate President Pro Tem Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles) said. The event marked the 10th anniversary of AB 32, which established the state's cap-and-trade program, in which companies buy permits to pollute, and set a target for reducing emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. This year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law to set the targets even higher.
Gov. Jerry Brown signed two measures on Thursday that will ramp up California's efforts to combat climate change, increase legislative oversight of environmental programs and prod regulators to take new steps to curb local pollution problems. The measures, Senate Bill 32 and Assembly Bill 197, were passed after a tough political fight in the Capitol. Another battle is expected next year, when Brown wants to safeguard the cap-and-trade program -- which requires companies to purchase permits to pollute -- from legal uncertainty over its future. That could come in the form of new legislation or a ballot measure in 2018.
Gov. Jerry Brown said Californians should do their part in helping unify the country after the surprise election of President-elect Donald Trump, but also insists the state will "stay true" to its principles. "With the deep divisions in our country, it is incumbent on all of us – especially the new leadership in Washington – to take steps that heal those divisions, not deepen them," Brown said in a written statement on Thursday afternoon. "In California, we will do our part to find common ground whenever possible." The brief comments released by his office were the first from Brown since Trump's surprise win. The governor told reporters Tuesday morning that the nation needed to quickly mend its fences after the divisive election, though he assumed it would in the wake of a win by Hillary Clinton.
Gov. Jerry Brown predicted Tuesday that President-elect Donald Trump will experience a political backlash internationally if he pursues policies that deny the impact of climate change. Appearing in a webcast for the Climate Reality Project, Brown was asked by former Vice President Al Gore whether states can have an impact on climate change if it is no longer a priority of the federal government. Brown noted that, in addition to legislation in California, he has signed agreements with other states to pursue policies to address global warming. But he said there are indications Trump may delay action if he is not convinced it is a serious problem. "If our new president takes that as his proposition, I believe that the reaction will be negative and very powerful throughout the world," Brown said.