Calif. adopts sweeping air plan

With a promise to look more closely at the economic impacts of cutting greenhouse gas emissions, the California Air Resources Board on Thursday unanimously approved a sweeping climate-change strategy.

"This scoping plan puts California on a path to a low-carbon, sustainable, green economy," said air board chairman Mary Nichols after the vote in Sacramento.

The board's moves are being watched around the country _ and the world _ because they're likely to influence federal and international policies in years to come. The plan adopted Thursday creates the nation's first economy-wide trading system for greenhouse-gas emissions.

Under the plan, the state's renewable power generation capacity will roughly triple by 2020, and there will be major increases in the energy efficiency of homes and businesses. Also called for are better vehicle fuel economy, cuts in emissions of refrigerants and other especially potent greenhouse gases, and a reduction in the carbon content of motor fuels.

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