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The Latest: California Climate Bill Clears Senate Hurdle

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) A California Senate committee has advanced a bill to extend the state’s signature climate change law through 2030. Democrats on the Environmental Quality Committee backed the legislation in a 5-2 party-line vote on Thursday, pushing it one step closer to a vote on the Senate floor. The measure gives another 10 years of life to California’s cap and trade program, which caps carbon emissions and requires polluters to obtain permits to release greenhouse gases. Extending the program is a top priority for Gov. Jerry Brown, who is scrambling to line up votes from the required two-thirds of lawmakers. Democratic lawmakers backed the legislation despite opposition from environmental justice organizations that have long been skeptical of cap and trade. They say the program allows oil refineries and other polluters to continue releasing greenhouse gases as long as they pay a fee.