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The Department of Water and Power (DWP) San Fernando Valley Generating Station is seen December 11, 2008 in Sun Valley, California. California is making a carbon-credit market that will change the ways utilities generate power, businesses use electricity, and personal transportation.
California is now more than half way through the first year of its ambitious program to cut greenhouse gases under the landmark law: AB 32.
An important part of that effort is a cap-and-trade system, that requires polluters to reduce their carbon footprint through a combination of cutting emissions and trading carbon credits.
Carbon credits basically allow companies to get away with a certain amount of pollution by offsetting it with investment in projects that are reducing carbon in the environment. Think things like planting trees or sustainable farming.
Over the next few weeks, the California Air Resources Board is set to start approving offset projects to get the cap-and-trade system in full swing. KPCC's environmental reporter Molly Peterson joins the show to explain.