Cap and trade is alive and well in California.
“The California Air Resources Board today adopted the final cap-and-trade regulation, putting into place another key element of the state’s pioneering climate plan,” CARB announced in a press release dated October 20, 2011.
The move comes just over four years after former Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed into law AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act. It also comes less than a year after voters in the state overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 23, which would have suspended AB 32, by a margin of 61.6 to 38.4 percent. Outside oil interests spent millions trying to pass Proposition 23, but still lost.
It should be interesting to see how the presidential candidates respond to the news. While opinions on global warming vary among the Republican contenders, most have spoken out against cap and trade on the campaign trail – including those who once supported it.
New Hampshire, home to the first in the nation presidential primary, is one of nine states still participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative cap and trade program. Current GOP frontrunner Herman Cain, a climate skeptic, has been a vocal critic of RGGI, calling it a “hidden tax” back in June. Recent efforts to repeal the program in New Hampshire have been linked back to Americans for Prosperity and other special interest groups supported by the fossil fuel industry.