California Passes Cap and Trade. Now What?

When the eighth largest economy in the world, and one that happens to occupy a large portion of the western U.S. coastline, adopts a groundbreaking set of rules, you would think that would get a lot of attention. Yet, after the California Air Resources Board's landmark decision on October 20 to adopt the first of its kind in the U.S. economy-wide cap and trade rules for the state, the occasion seemed to prompt little notice.

It wasn't until nearly five days after CARB's action that a San Francisco Chronicle editorial cautiously praised the move: "There is nothing simple about the cap-and-trade approach. There will be a need to tinker and adjust a complex answer to the world's worst environmental problem. But at a time when other governments are hiding from reality, California has shown a willingness to lead." Anne Carlson in the Legal Planet: Environmental Law and Policy blog was more effusive, calling CARB's leadership on the issue "extraordinary," and concluding: "It’s common place to attack government as inefficient, bloated and even corrupt and California itself has borne more than its share of attacks as a place where government has gone awry. CARB defies those characterizations. Corny as it sounds, I’m proud today to be a Californian." But the Climate Progress blog only included the adoption in its daily news summary, while devoting a lengthy column to an analysis of media coverage about Solyndra and several posts about the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

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Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, General Business Updates, Energy & Utilities Updates, Environmental Updates, Tax Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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