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Calif. adopts a sweeping plan for warming

By Samantha Young
Associated Press / December 12, 2008
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SACRAMENTO - California air regulators adopted a sweeping new climate plan yesterday that would require the state's utilities, refineries, and large factories to transform their operations to cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The California Air Resources Board voted unanimously to adopt the nation's most comprehensive anti-global warming plan, outlining for the first time how individuals and businesses would meet a landmark 2006 law that made the state a leader on global climate change.

The plan would hold California's worst polluters accountable for the heat-trapping emissions they produce - transforming how people travel, how utilities generate power, and how businesses use electricity.

At the heart of the plan is the establishment of a carbon-credit market designed to give the state's major polluters cheaper ways to cut their emissions. That market and the many other strategies outlined in the plan will be fleshed out and adopted over the next few years.

California's plan comes at a time when governments around the world are struggling with a financial crisis that threatens to undermine efforts to fight climate change. California itself is facing a forecast budget gap of $41.8 billion through June 2010.

Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who has said the climate law will stimulate the economy, said yesterday that California was providing a road map for the rest of the country.

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