California Says Yes To Tougher GHG Rules, Cap-and-Trade

by | Dec 13, 2008

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california1.jpgThe California Air Resources Board voted unanimously to adopt the nation’s most sweeping plan to reduce GHG emissions. It is outlining for the first time a plan to implement the Global Warming Solutions Act, which mandates that the state cut emissions by a third, or to 1990 levels, by 2020.

An important component of the plan is a cap-and-trade program covering 85 percent of the state’s emissions. The program will be developed in conjunction with the Western Climate Initiative.

New York Times reported that the Environmental Law and Climate Change Law blog says some sectors, such as aircraft and airports, are missing from the plan’s reduction targets.

The Sacramento Bee reported that some economists say the plan underestimates the costs involved in transforming the state’s modes of transportation, its energy sources and its industries.

Reuters reported that Californian companies are concerned that rising electricity and other costs will put them out of business. California Hispanic Chambers of Commerce Legislative Affairs Chairman James Duran told Reuters that the plan “is an economic train wreck waiting to happen.”

In November, the air board announced its draft plan to tackle climate change. The plan includes allowing business to buy and sell emission credits and raising water fees to between $100 million and $500 million annually to name a few.

A poll conducted earlier this year found that the bill is popular until people learn how much it could end up costing them.

On the other hand, some environmentalists are disappointed with California’s proposed carbon plans, noting that regulators have yet to devise any structure for their proposed cap and trade program.

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