Thursday, November 14, 2013 |
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The lawsuits were filed by both the California Chamber of Commerce and the Pacific Legal Foundation.
The groups had argued that state-run carbon auctions amounted to an unconstitutional tax on businesses.
More than 400 businesses are required to participate in the auction. The judge said while AB 32 doesn’t explicitly authorize a carbon auction, it does give the Air Resources Board the discretion to adopt a cap and trade program and design a system.
The judge called the dollars spent at carbon auctions more like regulatory fees than a tax.
The judge had tentatively ruled in favor of the Air Resources Board in August.
In a statement, the California Chamber of Commerce said it believes the decision is ripe for review and reversal by the appellate court. The Pacific Legal Foundation says it will appeal.