By Rory Carroll
SAN FRANCISCO Nov 13 The California Chamber of
Commerce filed a petition that seeks to block the state from
auctioning carbon allowances to large emitting businesses, one
day before the cap-and-trade program's inaugural permit sale.
The complaint, filed in a Sacramento state court on Tuesday,
argues that California's landmark emissions reduction law AB 32
does not authorize the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to
raise money beyond what is needed to cover its administrative
costs through the sale of carbon allowances.
"The current CARB proposal is the most costly way to
implement AB 32, and it will hurt consumers, the job climate,
and the ability of businesses to expand here," says a copy of
the complaint posted on the Chamber's web site.
The state on Wednesday is planning to sell 39.5 million
allowances to cover emissions in 2015 and put those revenues
into a new government account. Stanley Young, a spokesman for
the resources board, said they are confident cap-and-trade will
withstand any court challenge.
"We are going forward with tomorrow's auction," Young said.
That money is expected to be used to help the state further
reduce its emissions, although the details of its use have still
to be hammered out.
California plans to give away 90 percent of the allowances
for free at the outset of the program, a percentage that will
diminish over time.
California businesses including oil refineries and large
manufacturers have complained that having to purchase 10 percent
of their compliance obligation at the start of the program will
put them at a competitive disadvantage to their out-of-state