Staff and wire reports
Posted: 10/20/2011 06:12:17 PM PDT

California air quality officials approved a groundbreaking package of anti-pollution controls designed to limit carbon emissions and prevent global warming, but several business interests worry the regulations will only damage the state’s business climate.

Called “cap-and-trade,” the new regulations place a limit, or “cap,” on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that manufacturers, refiners and others can release into the air.

The “trade” part of the rule means that businesses whose emissions levels fall below the maximum amount can sell what would essentially be pollution credits to other companies that would not be able to comply with the regulations.

The California Air Quality Resources Board unanimously approved the new rule Thursday following several hours of testimony from supporters and opponents who pleaded their cases before the board during a Sacramento hearing.

“For half a century, every American president has been calling for America to move away from our dependence on foreign oil and become energy independent,” board chairwoman Mary Nichols said.

Those voting for the policy also included Barbara Riordon, a former San Bernardino County supervisor and former Redlands councilwoman.

To read entire story, click here.