Western Climate Initiative, Partners and Observers. Image credit:WCI
For decades California has been the US environmental trendsetter and regulatory proving ground. They propose a rule; a year or two later NPR profiles the effort. One of the Times (LA, Washington, NY) does a feature story. Industry reps say it will bankrupt the universe. Couple of years after that, at most, the Cal-reg becomes the model for a Federal law. Life goes on. It's like clockwork.
California Air Resources Board has just posted a preliminary draft rule for California-style Cap & Trade. I'll let others cover the details, which can be downloaded here. My bet is this. The US Congress will, in 2010, table the combined energy and climate bill, settling for a piecemeal approach that kicks a Federal Cap & Trade reg down the road, awaiting evidence that California's experiment is a qualified success (roughly in early 2014).
Look at the above map of Western Climate Initiative participants and observers, of which California is a key member. They've got the East Coast and South surrounded. See...how Texas is not participating; but northern Mexican States are? 'Remember the Alamo.'
From the press release on the CARB preliminary draft:
...said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. "By releasing the first draft of a cap-and-trade system that California will put into effect in 2012, we are demonstrating the state's determination to push ahead, continue to work with other states in the U.S. and abroad, and invite others to join us."
The document released today combines in one place the results of a year-long public process involving 21 workshops on issues related to cap-and-trade program design, and builds on more than two years of collaboration with the partners of the Western Climate Initiative. As a preliminary draft version it contains both draft regulatory language on process and structure along with narrative sections that address significant issues that remain to be resolved within a cap-and-trade program.
More posts on state & regional climate initiatives.
Rhode Island to Join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative ...
Let Bravery and Unity Convert The Doubters
Schwarzenegger Invites Global Leaders to Talk Carbon Caps