"In a setback that could stall the rollout of California's landmark climate change law, a court in San Francisco has ruled that the state must spend more time studying alternatives to the measure's key feature -- a cap-and-trade program on greenhouse gas emissions -- before it goes into effect Jan. 1.
San Francisco County Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith blocked the California Air Resources Board from moving forward with its rules under the law, known as AB 32, until it completes a more thorough environmental analysis. That could take months, putting into question whether the rules will take effect next year as planned.
Ironically, the law, signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2006, survived industry challenges, and, most recently, an attempt by Texas oil companies to halt it when voters rejected Proposition 23 in November. But now, it has been tripped up by a challenge from a handful of small nonprofit environmental groups."
Paul Rogers reports for the San Jose Mercury News March 21, 2011.