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Related Practices
Related Practices

California Releases Latest Versions of GHG Cap and Trade and Reporting Programs

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., July 26, 2011

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) has released the latest version of its greenhouse gas (“GHG”) cap and trade regulation: the “California Cap on Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Market-Based Compliance Mechanism.” The proposed rule brings California one step closer to implementing what will be the United States’ first comprehensive emissions cap and trade program for GHGs.  Under the proposed rule, registration and other administrative requirements would apply to certain stationary sources, fuel and electricity suppliers, and other affected entities next year, but the state-wide emissions cap would not take effect until 2013.  The proposed text is available for a 15-day public comment period; written comments are due August 9, 2011.  More information, including a copy of the redlined cap and trade rule proposal, is available here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2010/capandtrade10/capandtrade10.htm.

In conjunction with the cap and trade rulemaking, CARB also released the latest revisions and additions to its Mandatory GHG Reporting Regulation (“MRR”).  According to CARB, the MRR revisions and amendments are intended to harmonize the reporting program with similar regional programs (e.g., the Western Climate Initiative) and the federal GHG reporting rule, 40 C.F.R. Part 98.  The proposed revisions and amendments to the MRR are on the same 15-day review schedule as the cap and trade program, with written comments due Tuesday, August 9, 2011.  A copy of the proposed MRR is available here: http://www.arb.ca.gov/regact/2010/ghg2010/ghg2010.htm.

Both the GHG cap and trade program and the MRR are key components of CARB’s implementation of AB 32, the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, which is aimed at reducing California’s GHG emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.  With a tight schedule in AB 32 for the statute's implementation and an administrative deadline for issuance of the cap and trade rule looming, the Agency plans to finalize the cap and trade rule and the corresponding changes in the MRR by October 28, 2011.

For more information on the proposed CARB regulations or on California’s regulation of GHGs in general, please contact Amy M. Lincoln at (415) 262-4029, alincoln@bdlaw.com or Nico van Aelstyn at (415) 262-4008, nvanaelstyn@bdlaw.com.