Now is no time for Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to go all wobbly on his landmark achievement — the AB 32 law that aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.
The centerpiece is creation of a cap-and-trade program that would allow power plants, industries and other major producers of greenhouse gases to purchase permits for carbon emissions. Companies that reduce emissions below their allotment (the cap) can sell them on the open market (the trade).
California would be part of a market with six other states (Arizona, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington) and four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec) in the Western Climate Initiative.
The key question is how to distribute the emissions allowances – by auction or for free?
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