It’s a fee: California cap and trade passes legal challenge

November 15, 2013

carbonCalifornia’s one-year-old system of auctioning off the right to emit carbon survived a pair of legal challenges this week. [SacramentoBee]

Sacramento Superior Court Judge Timothy Frawley rejected lawsuits filed over California’s cap and trade law, AB 32, by the California Chamber of Commerce and the Pacific Legal Foundation.

The two organizations claimed that the states quarterly carbon auctions constitute an unconstitutional tax on the state’s largest industries because the law did not pass the legislature with a two-thirds majority.

But, Frawley said in a written opinion that the carbon auctions “are more like traditional regulatory fees than taxes.”

Frawley also rejected a claim that AB 32 did not explicitly authorize the state to auction carbon credits.

Both the Chamber of Commerce and the Pacific Legal Foundation said they plan to appeal the ruling.

Lawyers for California Air Resources Board, which administers cap and trade, defended the ruling, saying carbon auctions are not taxes because buying carbon is optional.

Currently, more than 400 companies are affected by the cap and trade law. Since the beginning of the program, the sate has sold nearly $1.1 billion worth of carbon credits.

Carbon is bought and sold in one-ton increments during state auctions. One ton of carbon currently costs about $12.

 


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8 Comments

  1. shelworth says:

    SCAM!

    (9) 9 Total Votes - 9 up - 0 down
  2. Myself says:

    carb and the apcd are nothing but extortion rackets,both go into legitimate business and demand a fee for a permit they have just dreamed up,for no legitimate reason,they have been into commerical yards demanding fees for equipment that has been replaced by new “clean” equipment that has been operating for years,the permits do noting to help anyone but the rouges at the apcd.

    (10) 10 Total Votes - 10 up - 0 down
  3. pasoman says:

    Larry Allen will now have new source of income. What else can we in CA do to kill business?

    Pretty soon CA will only have government employees and retired government employees. They can regulate each other.

    (16) 20 Total Votes - 18 up - 2 down
  4. SLOBIRD says:

    Who would have ever thought that we would tax (pardon me, assess a fee) for air. It was once frowned upon that gangsters robbed, threated, extorted people and businesses. Now it is legal for government to do the same thing under the sham of rules and regulations.

    (24) 28 Total Votes - 26 up - 2 down
  5. r0y says:

    I bet the APCD is starting to drool…

    (28) 32 Total Votes - 30 up - 2 down
  6. Rambunctious says:

    Only politicians could come up with a Charlie Foxtrot program like this one…

    (22) 28 Total Votes - 25 up - 3 down
  7. TaxMeAgain says:

    So now nuclear power is the ONLY thing keeping your bill down.

    (35) 39 Total Votes - 37 up - 2 down

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