"Facing continued litigation, California officials will delay enforcement of the state's carbon-trading program until 2013, state Air Resources Board Chairwoman Mary Nichols announced Wednesday.
The delay in the cap-and-trade program, slated to take effect in January, is proposed because of the 'need for all necessary elements to be in place and fully functional,' she said.
But in testimony before a state Senate committee,Nichols said the postponement would not affect the stringency of the program or the amount of greenhouse gases that industries will be forced to cut by the end of the decade.
Carbon-market executives mostly shrugged at the news.
The air board 'has given firms a breather, not a pass,' said Josh Margolis, chief executive of CantorCO2e, an emissions-trading company. 'Companies will need to make the same reductions, but they will face a steeper slope."