California Cap-and-Trade Preparations Resume
Good news for California’s cap-and-trade plan…
A state appellate court ruled on Friday that state regulators can continue preparations to launch the program in 2012.
In May, a Superior Court judge halted progress on the program, saying the Air Resources Board had failed to properly consider otherstrategies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions as required by statelaw.
The state is challenging that ruling, but since it could take up to ayear for a decision, the state would miss its 2012 launch date.
But Friday’s ruling gave regulators permission to continue work on thecarbon market, which is planned to cover about 20% of the state’soverall emissions.
Cara Horowitz, an attorney with the UCLA Emmett Center on Climate Change and the Environment, told Reuters the ruling is a positive step, butthat it is "by no means certain" the state will meet its target launchdate.
In addition to overcoming legal challenges, regulators still have muchwork to do in determining how carbon permits will be allocated andauctioned.
Running Out of Funds for Clean Vehicles
The Air Resources Board says rebates for residents who purchase zero-emissions vehicles may run out by the end of July.
High demand for the Clean Vehicle Rebates is quickly eating through the$11.1 million allocated for the program for fiscal years 2009-2011.
New funding may be approved at the end of July pending the state’sbudget situation. The Air Resources Board proposes raising fundinglevels to $12 million – $17 million for the next fiscal year – but would cut the rebate amount in half to $2,500.
Becuase there’s such strong demand, regulators are betting that reducing the rebate wouldn’t dampen enthusiasm for the new vehicles.
Only 9% of the original funding remains right now. If it runs out, newvehicle owners would go on a waiting list to receive their rebates.
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