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
"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
"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
"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.