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What Effect Will California's Cap-And-Trade Law Have?

OPB | Jan. 8, 2013 12:06 p.m. | Updated: Sept. 11, 2013 12:24 a.m.

Beginning this month, 350 California businesses will start paying for some of the carbon they emit. Businesses that participated in an auction in November paid $10.09 to offset every ton of CO2 they produce beyond a cap set by the state. Over the next few years, the cap on how much CO2 a company can produce will decrease, as the price of carbon credits increases.

Lawmakers hope that pinch will spur innovation in carbon-efficient technology, but there is some concern that it may instead cause businesses to leave the state.

The law has faced some critics on both sides of the climate change debate, with some calling it too weak and others too stringent.

How would you be affected by a cap-and-trade system? What approach would you like to see in regluating carbon?


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