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Air Resources Board amends cap and trade program, enhances market security
Changes further strengthen market security; linkage with Quebec program to be considered at a future meeting
SACRAMENTO - The California Air Resources Board today approved amendments to the state's cap and trade program to enhance efficiency and further increase market security.
The main changes clarify the required information and procedures involved in registering for the program. The changes add elements to ensure the identity of market participants, providing an increased measure of security to the program. Other amendments will help prevent theft of allowances and provide more detail about how the auction and reserve sale will operate.
The Air Resources Board also directed staff to take the necessary steps specified in the budget trailer bill legislation adopted yesterday to enable California to link its cap and trade program with Quebec's.
The trailer bill requires findings by the Governor regarding the stringency of Quebec's program.
"We are satisfied that Quebec's cap and trade program is as stringent as California's, and we will continue to work toward linkage with all deliberate speed, making sure we fulfill all the conditions of the language in the trailer bill," said Air Resources Board Chairman Mary D. Nichols.
Taking this additional step will not affect the timing of California's program rollout, with the first California cap and trade auction taking place on November 14, 2012.
The first year of the program - when companies will be held responsible for their greenhouse gas emissions - will likewise remain unaffected and begin on January 1, 2013. Quebec's program will also begin at the first of the year. In the meantime, both California and Quebec will continue to work together to link their programs as expeditiously as possible.
ARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. The ARB oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health based air quality standards.