16 October 2008 -- California legislators issued their final draft of a plan calling for new regulations on the energy industry with the goal of reducing emissions over the next 12 years.
The plan calls for cutting the level of electricity residents use with more efficient buildings and appliances and reducing the amount they drive by discouraging urban sprawl.
Among other measures, the plan would force require utilities to build more solar and wind plants and compel industries to improve energy efficiency.
Critics of the plan, led by the California Manufacturers and Technology Association and the California Chamber of Commerce, said the rules would result in billions of dollars of increased energy costs,
Under the auspices of a Western trading plan that would include six other states and four Canadian provinces, California would give away as much as 90 percent of industry pollution permits for these industries, rather than auctioning them.
The state's trading program also would allow up to 49 percent of the emission reductions from some industries to be "offset" by purchasing credits from pollution-cutting programs out of state.
Regulations to implement the plan will be debated over the next dozen years.
The state's 2006 Global Warming Solutions Act, which gave rise to the plan, has inspired emission limits in five states: Connecticut, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts and Hawaii.
More than a dozen other states have adopted or are considering greenhouse gas reduction goals.