The California Environmental Protection Agency’s (Cal/EPA’s) Air Resources Board (ARB ) has reportedly adopted rules for a multisector greenhouse gas (GHG ) emissions cap-and-trade program. The plan, which was adopted unanimously on October 20, 2011, was established under the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (A.B. 32), which defines GHG to include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, and perfluorocarbons.
The plan requires the agency to monitor the program’s implementation to prevent market abuses, ensure that emissions reductions are achieved, prevent potential adverse air quality and other impacts to low-income communities, address concerns about forest-offset projects, and address any unexpected economic impacts. The emissions trading regulations will take effect January 1, 2012, and auctions will be conducted by August 2012.
Electricity generators and importers, refineries, manufacturing plants, and cement operations will be included in the first phase. Distributors of natural gas, propane and transportation fuels will be included in 2015. ARB will not enforce the regulations until January 1, 2013. See Cal/EPA ARB Press Release, October 20, 2011; The Los Angeles Times, October 21, 2011.