California cap and trade delayed

Officials with the California Air Resources Board said June 29 they would delay enforcement of the state’s carbon trading program until 2013. The LA Times said the program was scheduled to start in January.

The delay in the cap-and-trade program was proposed because of the possibility of more litigation and the need to have everything “in place and fully functional,” CARB Chairwoman Mary Nichols was quoted as saying. Nichols said the delay would not affect the stringency of the program or the amount of greenhouse gases (GHG) that industries would have to cut by 2020.

In March, a San Francisco judge ruled the CARB had not sufficiently analyzed alternatives to the trading program, as required under the state’s Environmental Quality Act. The agency appealed the decision, and an appeals court ruled that officials could continue working on the program’s regulation pending the outcome of the appeal.

The board is drafting an analysis of alternatives, but the process has delayed the progress of the program, the article said.

The cap-and-trade program would cover 600 power plants, factories and other industrial facilities. It was spearheaded by former Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

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