A grand bargain? Gov. Jerry Brown in talks with oil companies about climate change programs

Gov. Jerry Brown's administration has been talking directly with oil companies in hopes of reaching a consensus on extending California's landmark climate programs, opening a back channel with an industry the governor has harshly criticized as a barrier to addressing global warming.

The dialogue was described by sources who requested anonymity to talk about private discussions and later confirmed by the Western States Petroleum Assn., which represents oil companies in Sacramento.

The organization’s president, Catherine Reheis-Boyd, told the Los Angeles Times that the industry is engaged in “ongoing talks with the administration to improve the state’s current climate change programs.”

The behind-the-scenes conversations come at a time when Brown is searching for the best way to safeguard the cap-and-trade program, which requires companies to purchase permits in order to pollute and serves as the centerpiece of California’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The program, an important revenue generator for projects such as the bullet train to connect Los Angeles and San Francisco, has suffered from waning political support and legal questions over how long it can keep operating.

It is far from certain that the conversations, which have been underway for weeks and don’t include lawmakers, will produce any consensus between two sides that have historically been at odds over tackling climate change.

Read entire article at LAtimes.com