Calif. cap-and-trade a global issue

Friday, November 16, 2012
Becky Yeh - California correspondent (

Though one energy policy analyst is sure that California's cap-and-trade system will have no impact on global temperatures, it will raise energy prices on those who can "least afford to pay it."

The California Air Resources Board has begun a private online auction of "pollution allowances," kicking off what is said to be the second largest carbon market in the world. The Golden State's cap-and-trade system is a provision of a global warming law passed in 2006 that seeks to cut emissions of greenhouse gases.

Borelli, Tom (FreedomWorks)"For the citizens of California, it's going to be all pain and no gain," warns Tom Borelli of The National Center for Public Policy Research's Free Enterprise Project.

"Eighty-five percent of our economy runs on fossil fuels, and this cap-and-trade plan is going to raise energy prices. That's going to have an immediate impact, harming those who could least afford to pay it. Higher energy prices harm those with fixed incomes and those with low incomes." 

The state's program mandates companies that release more emissions to buy credits from industries that pollute less. The Board plans to release auction information, including the number of companies that participated and the price for one ton of carbon.

"It's a global issue," Borelli contends. "The California plan is going to have no impact on global temperatures."

Shortly before the auction occurred, the California Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit alleging that the state's cap-and-trade system is an illegal tax. The lawsuit sought to block the auction from taking place.

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