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Green Program Halted By Judge, Alternatives Needed

A judge has temporarily halted California's ambitious program to provide financial incentives for the state's largest polluters to cut harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ernest Goldsmith said Monday the state failed to properly consider alternatives to its so-called "cap-and-trade" program, a key piece of its landmark global warming law, AB32.

Goldsmith ruled that the failure to consider alternatives violated state environmental law, so the California Air Resources Board must conduct further review before implementing the plan.

The board adopted the plan in December.

The legal challenge was brought by environmental groups, who argue the program allows polluters who are primarily located in poor neighborhoods to continue polluting by buying "carbon credits" from projects located elsewhere.

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