California has a long history of trailblazing environmental regulations that eventually spur federal action. The Clean Air Act and efficiency standards for appliances are good examples. Why does this happen? Sometimes it’s because the rules prove proponents right and doubters wrong. And sometimes it is the regulated industries themselves that lobby for the expansion — better a single standard than a patchwork of state regs.

So, will this week’s accord on AB 32 in California result in a federal cap on carbon?

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Some think so.

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