Cap-and-trade plan would make top polluters pay

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OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) - The state's largest polluters would have to pay for their carbon pollution under companion bills introduced in the Legislature Friday.

Gov. Jay Inslee's cap-and-trade plan sets an overall limit on heat-trapping gases similar to California's program. It requires power plants, refineries and other large polluters to buy "allowances" for each metric ton of carbon they release. Those allowances could be traded.

Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon, of Burien, is sponsoring the governor's bill in the House. The Democrat says the state needs to take action on climate change.

Sen. Kevin Ranker, of Orcas Island, is sponsor the Senate measure. He says the plan protects communities while raising money for transportation, education and other needs.

Republican lawmakers say the plan will raise gas prices and hurt consumers. They say the state has made strides in reducing carbon pollution and that there are better ways to continue to do so.

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