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The outsize goals of California’s new law, known as A.B. 32, are to lower California’s emissions to what they were in 1990 by 2020 — a reduction of roughly 30 percent — and, more broadly, to show that the system works and can be replicated.

Interesting to note that the EIA reported earlier this year that US energy-related CO2 emissions in early 2012 were the lowest since 1992 without AB32 policies.

The more important issue is one of leakage, both within the US and internationally. As California's costs of energy go up businesses, manufacturing and even agriculture drift out of state, where emissions intensities are higher. California will increase imports — cement from Arizona, food from South America, high tech devices from Asia – with a net increase in global emissions.

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