California Energy and Environment Update - April 26, 2011

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Environmental justice groups seek to halt cap and trade implementation Marking the next step in a closely watched legal battle, attorneys for two environmental justice groups asked a San Francisco Superior Court judge to freeze California's proposed cap-and-trade system for carbon until the state completes a thorough CEQA review of the concept and examines alternatives like a carbon tax or direct regulation.

The attorneys for the Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and Communities for a Better Environment opposed the request from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to allow staff to move forward with their scoping plan for implementing the climate law (A.B. 32) while the lawsuit dragged on. The plaintiffs are convinced that a cap-and-trade system would unfairly hurt low-income communities by allowing emitters (usually situated in low-income neighborhoods) to exceed local emissions limits buying credits or offsets. The environmental advocates asked the judge to stop implementation until a full CEQA examination of alternatives is completed.

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