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Stanford News Service
May 1, 2017

Stanford experts available to comment on new proposal for California climate policy

California state senators have introduced an ambitious new proposal to extend carbon pricing policy in California, where the state’s cap-and-trade program has been struggling. Two Stanford scholars who have advised the new program’s architects are available to comment.

By Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment

On Monday, California State Senate President Kevin De León and Sen. Bob Wieckowski introduced an ambitious new proposal to extend carbon pricing policy in California.

Stanford experts who have been advising De León’s office on state climate policy say the proposal comes at a critical moment, as California’s landmark cap-and-trade program is struggling and the state’s powerful environmental justice community is opposing the status quo.

Associate Professor of Law Michael Wara and Stanford energy economist Danny Cullenward are available to brief media on the new proposal. Their contact info and sample comments are below.

Michael Wara, JD, PhD

Associate Professor of Law; Affiliate, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment.

Wara is an expert on climate and energy policy and regulation. His research focuses on California’s cap-and-trade program and the efficacy of state and federal climate regulations.

“Today’s proposal is a cap-and-trade/carbon tax hybrid that sets a vary high bar for state and global action on climate while at the same time creating a progressive policy from a tax perspective. The policy is both tough on climate and kind to low- and moderate-income Californians. We expect it will be among the most prominent state efforts to be proposed after President Trump’s election. And we expect it will be of interest to a national audience as a consequence and in the context of the EOs and the tax discussion in Congress.”

Danny Cullenward, JD, PhD

Research Associate, Near Zero; Lecturer, School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences.

Danny Cullenward is an energy economist and lawyer working on the design and implementation of scientifically grounded climate policy.

“California needs new legal authority to implement its 2030 climate target. Today’s proposal reflects that need. It is designed to make carbon pricing policy work for households and businesses alike, enabling an efficient and equitable transition to a low-carbon economy. Make no mistake: Senators Wieckowski and De León have proposed the most ambitious climate policy in the history of the United States at a time when leadership on this issue is needed most.”

For assistance in reaching Wara or Cullenward, contact Christine Black at (650) 725-8240 or



Michael Wara, Stanford School of Law: (415) 250-9730,

Danny Cullenward, Stanford School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences: (650) 248-4121,

Christine Black, Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment: (650) 725-8240,


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