Matthew Yi, San Francisco Chronicle, July 23, 2008
California, six other Western states and four Canadian provinces will launch a market-based carbon trading system in a major North American effort to cut greenhouse gas emissions, according to a draft proposal released today. The proposal is a key component for the Western Climate Initiative, a partnership created in February 2007 among California, Arizona, New Mexico, Oregon and Washington. The group - which also includes Utah, Montana, and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario - has set a regional goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent of 2005 levels by 2020.
When it officially begins in four years, the program will first target heavy polluters such as electric utilities, oil refineries, and large industrial and commercial facilities, which would be required to begin reporting emission levels beginning in 2011. The plan also includes an offsets system.
The WCI “Draft Design of the Regional Cap-and-Trade Program” builds on the draft recommendations released by the group in May. The Draft Design being released today will be discussed at WCI's third Stakeholder Workshop, which will be held in San Diego on Tuesday, July 29.
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