Air pollution regulators propose fee

February 9, 2008 6:04:15 PM PST
Bay Area air pollution regulators are proposing an extra fee for businesses who emit greenhouse gases.

The idea is to charge 4.2 cents per metric ton for carbon dioxide emissions. All businesses would be forced to pay, including factories, power generators and oil refineries.

The proposal is the first of its kind in the nation.

The authors say the fee is small compared to what would be needed to actually get businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"This would be a start, this would be a way to get people used to it, doing the proper accounting, kind of alike a warm up exercise for the real thing," said U.C. Berkeley professor Dan Kammen.

Industry representatives are wary of the proposal. They're already working with the state to come up with their own plan to deal with global warming.

A spokesman says: "The Western States Petroleum Association opposes what potentially could be a whole patchwork of programs that may or may not be coordinated and consistent with this 'overall' program."