Calif. opens hearing on major greenhouse gas rules

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Associated Press

Posted on December 16, 2010 at 12:49 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- California air quality regulators have begun hearing testimony on what would be the nation's most sweeping greenhouse gas regulations.

The Air Resources Board is expected to pass a key piece of the California's 2006 climate law, called AB32, at its meetings Thursday or Friday, with the hope that other states and nations will follow the lead of the world's eighth largest economy.

California's rules would set up the largest U.S. carbon trading market as the way to enforce the state's gradually tightening cap on emissions. Companies that reduce emissions below their capped level could then sell credits on a carbon market to polluters exceeding their cap.

Mary Nichols, the air board's chairman, said at the meeting's outset that the board believes the cap and trade program also will help spur economic recovery.

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