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California today began its long-awaited "Cap and Trade" program designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels in the next 8 years. The State Air Resources Board says it’ll make a difference in global warming. But polluting industries say California's impact will be minimal, that energy costs will increase for all Californians and that some businesses will be driven out of the state. Today's sale of so-called "carbon credits" will be secret until next Monday, but it's already faced with challenges from business and from environmentalists. Also, an electric four-door sedan made in California is Motor Trend's Car of the Year. On our rebroadcast of today's To the Point, the battle over Obamacare continues.

Banner image: Gord McKenna/flickr

Main Topic California Launches Cap and Trade Program with First Auction 19 MIN, 32 SEC

Former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 32, which put California into the cap and trade business. Today for the first time, so called "carbon credits" went on sale to manufacturers, utilities and other polluters, allowing them to continue discharging carbon dioxide into the environment — but for a price.  As time goes on, the credits will cost them more, with the goal of reducing emissions back to 1990 levels by the year 2020. Only Europe has a bigger cap and trade program, and California may be out on a limb. At his news conference today, President Obama said he wants a green economy to fight against climate change, but that other priorities are paramount.

Mary Nichols, California Air Resources Board (@AirResources)
David Kreutzer, Heritage Foundation (@dwkreutzer)
Ann Carlson, UCLA (@UCLA)

Reporter's Notebook Tesla, California's Own, is Motor Trend's 'Car of the Year' 7 MIN, 21 SEC

Forget the Porsche 911, the Ford Fusion and the Honda Accord. This year's Motor Trend Car of the Year Award goes for the first time to an automobile without an internal combustion engine. The choice was unanimous — and it's a car made in Silicon Valley — Elon Musk's Tesla Model S four-door sedan. Dan Neil is auto critic for the Wall Street Journal.

Dan Neil, Wall Street Journal (@Danneilwsj)

Main Topic States Still Divided on Obamacare 24 MIN, 18 SEC

Image-for-WWLA.jpg"Obamacare," the Affordable Care Act, is the biggest expansion of America's social safety net since 1965.  It still faces challenges, but the President's re-election means that repeal is less likely than ever. Meantime, the first of many deadlines for implementation comes the day after tomorrow. That's when states have to decide if they'll create so-called "exchanges," new marketplaces where uninsured Americans can buy subsidized coverage. How deeply rooted is the continued opposition? What are the prospects for affordable coverage for 30 million uninsured Americans?

Noam Levey, Los Angeles Times (@NoamLevey )
Jim Capretta, American Enterprise Institute (@aei)
Jacob Hacker, Yale University (@ISPSYale)
Genevieve Kenney, Urban Institute

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