California releases first draft of cap and trade rule to cut greenhouse gases

The California Air Resources Board on Tuesday released a preliminary version of its first-in-the-nation "cap and trade" plan to cut greenhouse-gas emissions.

Tens of billions of dollars will be at stake as the board fills in the details of the program over the next year.

The plan is scheduled to take effect in 2012. Air board staff members are counting on it to deliver at least a fifth of the emissions cuts required by 2020 under Assembly Bill 32, the state's climate change law. In later years, regulators hope, it will be the state's main tool for driving emissions levels even lower.

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