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Calif. Regulators OK Major Greenhouse Gas Rules

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(AP Photo/Kim D. Johnson)

(AP Photo/Kim D. Johnson)

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SACRAMENTO (AP) — California regulators have approved the first system in the nation to give polluting companies such as utilities and refineries financial incentives to emit fewer greenhouse gases.

The Air Resources Board voted 9-1 Thursday to pass the key piece of California’s 2006 climate law — called AB32 — with the hope that other states will follow the lead of the world’s eighth largest economy.

California’s new rules will set up the largest U.S. carbon trading market as the way to enforce the state’s gradually tightening emissions cap.

Grouped with strict renewable energy mandates for utilities and tighter fuel-efficiency standards for automobiles, California has enacted the strictest climate-related regulations in the U.S.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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