Not all business groups were opposed to cap and trade. Leonard Robinson of the California Black Chamber of Commerce said the program is needed to help the state transition to a "green energy" economy.
"Carbon markets put a price on inefficiencies ... and the long-term financial benefits will supersede the short term costs," Robinson said.
The program, the largest in the U.S., is modeled on similar programs in Europe, and designed to be able to link up with plans in other states and elsewhere to increase the size of its market for carbon allowance trading.
"(The board) has gone a long way to make these regulations as simple and palatable as possible," Nichols said. "At this point it's time for CMTA and (Western States Petroleum Association) and the chamber to join the many of hundreds of businesses that are investing in the fight against climate change instead of fighting AB32."
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