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California's Cap-and-Trade Illegality: CARB Rethink Necessary

By Tom Tanton -- May 31, 2011

Background:Earlier this year, I wrote about a new, tentative California Superior Court decision that threw a monkey wrench into California Air Resources Board’s climate regulatory scheme.

 a California superior court once again ruled against the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for failing to comply with environmental law pursuant to AB 32, California’s global warming law. The tentative decision directs CARB to rewrite its California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) documentation, and to cease implementation of the AB 32 Scoping Plan until the violation is corrected.

The decision is based on violations of process only and does not address any scientific or economic substance of either the CEQA documentation or of the scoping plan. Reactions have been mixed from “no big deal” to “hallelujah.”

The judge’s decision states that CARB violated state environmental law with its 2008 plan to reduce greenhouse gases and its more recent cap-and-trade regulatory schema.