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California’s Landmark Greenhouse Gas Bill

The California Legislature agreed on a bill that puts strict limits on the emission of greenhouse gases by 25 percent by 2020. California is the 12th largest carbon emitter in the world . The measure, AB 32, is expected to win passage from California’s  Senate and the Assembly.

The bill authorizes the California Air Resources Board to measure the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases coming from electric power plants, oil refineries, cement kilns and other industries, the LA Times reports. Based on the results, regulators would set limits for each facility and industry that would take effect beginning in 2012.

Regulators will be able to enforce limits with financial penalties as well as provide market-based incentives to industry. The bill allows industries that reduce emissions to below their limits to sell credits to other companies that need to exceed their caps.

Dorothy Rothrock, vice president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Assn., said her members are worried that the legislation gives too much power to the Air Resources Board. “The authority given the agencies is vast,” she said.

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