California’s Greenhouse Gas Cap-And-Trade Regulations— Who Is Suing and Who Isn't

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Electric Light & Power

Peter Morrisette and Robert Infelise wrote an article published in Electric Light & Power on Nov. 1, 2012 about the California Air Resources Board's new regulations pertaining to greenhouse gas emissions and the fact that, surprisingly, most of the opposition to them has been filed by environmental justice groups rather than the business community.

Stemming from California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the new regulations require electrical power generators, utilities and other producers of greenhouse gas to reduce their emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. While environmental justice groups support lowering emissions, they “favor a carbon tax or command-and-control style regulation of emissions over a cap-and-trade regime,” Morrisette and Infelise wrote. “The consensus within the environmental justice community is that cap and trade favors industry, is subject to gaming, cannot be adequately monitored, and increases the already disproportionate burden on poor communities and communities of color from industrial pollution.”

Morrisette and Infelise also outline the various legal challenges, noting that the environmental community is not united against the new regulations.

“The environmental justice community wants to force CARB to consider taking a more draconian approach to reducing emissions. The regulated community, on the other hand, appears to prefer cap and trade to any alternative,” the authors wrote. “The next few months should be interesting.”

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