Trader foes

California rolls the dice on cap-and-trade.

California rolls the dice on cap-and-trade.

After more than three years, the nation’s first broad-based greenhouse-gas trading market was unanimously adopted last week.

“It sends a clear signal to the global-investment community that investing in clean tech in California will be rewarded,” said Air Resources Board chairwoman Mary Nichols. The Golden State, she said, is leading the way for other states and the federal government to use the market to tackle climate change.

Yet, dissent spoke out in the eleventh hour. “Ditch cap and trade,” urged Julia May, Communities for a Better Environment senior scientist, before the vote.

She and other environmental-justice advocates warned of impacts to poor polluted communities, and risks of fraud in the trading-and-offset markets.

CARB is developing an “adaptive management” program to address unintended trading impacts, such as buildups of localized pollution when facility managers buy emissions credits, known as “allowances,” instead of cutting them.

The complex, multibillion-dollar emissions market is projected to help get the state closer to 1990 greenhouse-emission levels by 2020, as directed by the state’s climate-protection law, Assembly Bill 32. (Elizabeth McCarthy)

Burnt bridges?

While Sacramento considers a new bridge to West Sacramento, existing bridges could use some love.

A Washington, D.C., advocacy group has crunched numbers and determined Sacramento has the fourth worst bridges nationally for metropolitan areas of a similar size. It also has one of the highest percentages of structurally deficient bridges for metro areas greater than 2 million.

With most American bridges at least 50 years old, Transportation for America used figures from federal government to rank 102 metro areas as part of recommending that Congress support bridge repair and rebuilding. Additionally, the report found that California has the busiest deficient bridges, with Los Angeles the worst offender.

Meanwhile, for Sacramento County, the National Bridge Inventory lists half of its 400 as deficient or functionally obsolete.

Even so, last year the county told SN&R that such classifications can be misleading. “Sometimes a structurally deficient classification is for something as simple as a paint job,” explained Dan Regan, a Sacramento County spokesman. (Hugh Biggar)

Pets hate Halloween

There are always strange, weird-looking people ringing the doorbell. And they can’t eat any of the candy. And now, on Del Paso Boulevard, there’s the second annual Sacramento’s Ugliest Dog Contest, where the region’s craziest looking canines compete to take home the least-craved crown.

Last year’s winner, Icky, is entered again; you have until this Friday to enter for the Saturday, October 29, event, which will take place at the Artisan Building at 1901 Del Paso Boulevard (4 p.m., $2 admission). The ugliest dog gets $100, a trophy—and a true claim to shame. (Nick Miller)