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California’s Cap-and-Trade Regulations: Design Elements and Outstanding Issues

A review of California’s cap-and-trade regulations, highlighting key elements and issues regarding the law, such as an increase in the trading frequency, volume, and price of California compliance instruments and coverage of emissions associated with imported energy sold in the state. Also included is a discussion of buyer liability, auction limits, and potential legal challenges.

 

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By Jean-Philippe Brisson, Stanford Renas, and Daniel Firger

California’s greenhouse gas cap-and-trade regulations went into effect Jan. 1, 2012 following a Dec. 13, 2011 approval by the state’s Office of Administrative Law. The authors highlight key elements of the program, including an increase in the trading frequency, volume, and price of California compliance instruments and coverage of emissions associated with imported energy sold in the state. The authors also review several outstanding issues with the California program relative to other cap-and-trade schemes, including buyer liability for invalidated offsets, auction purchase limits, and potential legal challenges.

 


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