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California becomes first US state to adopt cap and trade program

The California Air Resources Board, in a unanimous vote, adopts landmark regulations of greenhouse gas emissions to curb climate change and meet targets for reducing pollution.

The air board met in Sacramento for more than eight hours in a packed hearing room. Board members listened to sometimes scathing comments from union workers fearful of losing their jobs and a parade of industry representatives who likewise characterized the regulations as anti-business. Other speakers called the proposal historic and groundbreaking.

Late in the day, as the eight board members voted to approve the regulations, to scattered applause, Chairman Mary Nichols looked up and said, “We’ve done something important.”

“Cap-and-trade is a new tool that for the first time allows us to reward companies for doing the right thing,” she added.

Read the full article in the Los Angeles Times.

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