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SPOTLIGHT

1. REGULATION:

Calif.'s cap-and-trade overseer steers ambitious program through rough seas

Mary Nichols is a high-powered air pollution veteran who has been a crucial -- some say irreplaceable -- player in California's grand experiment in climate change regulation. With the world's ninth-largest economy today holding its inaugural auction of carbon allowances, Nichols, the head of the California Air Resources Board, is pushing the button that sets North America's first economywide carbon market in motion.

2. MARKETS:

Calif. Chamber sues to stop cap and trade, calling it an illegal 'tax'

The California Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking to halt the Golden State's cap-and-trade auctions, which are set to start today as the landmark program kicks off. In a state Superior Court complaint, the business group charged that California lacks the authority to sell carbon allowance permits because that isn't explicitly sanctioned by the state's climate law, A.B. 32. The suit, filed in Sacramento, also claims that the system is a tax requiring approval from two-thirds of the state Legislature.

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