Environmental Justice Advocates Deal Major Setback To AB 32

Environmental justice advocates have been able to do in court what oil companies unsuccessfully attempted at the polls in November: deal a severe blow, if only temporarily, to CA's landmark climate law AB 32 by challenging the cap & trade provision.

The ruling by the San Francisco Superior Court highlights, indirectly, the difference between local, conventional air pollutants that affect public health in the vicinity of major emitters from global greenhouse gas emissions. A carbon tax may need to be reviewed as an alternative to cap and trade as a consequence.

While the ruling "does not prohibit the state Air Resources Board (ARB) from adopting cap and trade or explicitly require that officials delay its scheduled implementation next year. But Goldsmith said the board must first analyze other options, such as a tax on carbon emissions, and explain why it did not choose them."

"The board will appeal, said spokesman Stanley Young. He expressed dismay at the scope of the ruling, which requires the board to conduct an environmental review and invite public comment before taking further steps to implement the law."

Listen to California Report's Climate Watch report on the topic of the litigation - interviews with Environmental Defense Fund, Communities for a Better Environment, and The Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment.

In Nov., 2010, two oil companies attempted to put AB 32 on hold through Proposition 23 but it was defeated.

Full Story: Calif. cap-and-trade plan suffers legal setback

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