California state officials have set up the United States' first blueprint for a cap-and-trade program.
The state of California has been the shining light, and often the trailblazer, in America's efforts to curb global warming. Once again, it has taken the ever-necessary first step.
Under its ambitious carbon trading plan, most of California's greenhouse gas emissions will be capped, including all of those produced by the state's 600 power plants and big factories. In order to meet the cap companies will be able to buy and sell carbon credits.
At the current trading price of carbon on the European market, $20 per ton, California's cap-and-trade program will cost industry upto $8 billion per year. This number generates an immense amount of fear in industry executives, who have argued that a carbon trading scheme will hurt the economy because it will lead to higher utility, gas, and housing costs for consumers.
Nevertheless, it appears that a cap-and-trade scheme is set to become a permanent fixture in California. There are still several elements within the plan that must be ironed out, but by 2012 California's cap-and-trade program will come into effect.
California Air Resources Board's Chairman, Mary Nichols called the program "a milestone...to address our state's contributions to climate change, as the eight-largest economy in the world."
Read the full story the LA Times: State propose trading program to cut emissions
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