California is well aware that reducing greenhouse-gas emissions is easier said than done. The state’s attempts to craft an effective cap-and-trade system are causing infighting among public utilities and their privately owned counterparts. Public utilities, which source more of their power from coal, protest that they’re going to end up paying out the nose to the state and seeing the money redirected into private utilities’ coffers. That means public utilities will be lining private utilities’ pockets instead of having money available to, say, boost renewable-energy capacity, they argue. But regulators say they don’t intend to create a scheme that allows private utilities to profit off of public utilities’ misfortune, and that polluters have to get used to the idea of paying for what they spew. “We have to reduce CO2 by 174 million tons by 2020,” says California Public Utilities Commission President Michael Peevey. “But no one wants to face up to the cost. Everyone wants everyone else to pay.”

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