California Puts a Price Tag on Carbon Emissions

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It’s official. Greenhouse gas emissions, currently emitted free of charge in California, will have a price tag on them starting in 2012. On December 16, 2010, the California Air Resources Board (CARB or Board) voted 9-1 to approve the nation’s largest and first economy-wide carbon market. This market regulation is better known as Cap and Trade.

This historic action directly affects those subject to its provisions—initially California's large industry and electrical generators, but eventually fuel providers (natural gas, propane, gasoline and diesel) as well. But when you take a step back and look at the broader perspective, this program will touch the lives of everybody in the state. This includes: bankers, builders, businesses big and small, and everyday citizens.

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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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