California debuts landmark cap-and-trade system - 13 WTHR Indianapolis

California debuts landmark cap-and-trade system

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SAN FRANCISCO -

California has begun auctioning permits for greenhouse gas emissions, launching what is expected to be the world's second-largest carbon market.

The California Air Resources Board says it began selling pollution "allowances" for the first time Wednesday as planned, in a closed, online auction.

The board says the results of the auction - what price was paid for a ton of carbon, and how many companies participated - will be released later this month.

The cap-and-trade plan is a central piece of the state's 2006 global warming law meant to dramatically reduce the state's emissions of heat-trapping gases.

The auction occurred despite a last-minute lawsuit from the California Chamber of Commerce, which has argued the program should be invalidated as an illegal tax.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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