The state supports a federal energy and climate change bill in the House that would establish a nationwide carbon cap-and-trade program, but California regulators oppose its moratorium on state greenhouse gas emission trading programs. \u201cWe have a head start. . . .We need to get emission reductions early,\u201d California Air Resources Board chair Mary Nichols told the State Senate Select Committee on Climate Change June 8. State regulators expect their cap-and-trade program to take effect in 2012, about the same time the federal program would be launched under the American Clean Energy and Security Act, H.R. 2454. Section 861 of that bill by Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) would prohibit for five years state cap-and-trade markets. During that period, it would allow only a federal carbon trading market. After that, California and other states could launch their own programs if they found the federal scheme flawed or insufficient. Other states want to protect against federal preemption but are not voicing their concerns as forcefully as California, according to Stanley Young, Air Board spokesperson. Meanwhile, California regulators are discussing the preemption provision with the bill sponsors, he said. The Air Board\u2019s carbon trading program is \u201can integral part\u201d of the scoping plan for carrying out the state\u2019s climate protection law, AB 32, said Young. AB 32 does not require a controversial trading market, but state regulators think it may be the most economical way to fully meet the law\u2019s emissions reduction objectives. Nichols supports developing a state program in tandem with a federal market. Going forward with a California emissions trading program would provide a backstop in the event a federal program fails to materialize. On the other hand, if a national cap-and-trade program comes to fruition, California utilities and other entities that receive carbon allowances under the state program could trade them in for federal emissions rights, Nichols said. The Air Board is shaping the state program so it can be folded into a western regional program under development by the Western Climate Initiative. Both the state and western trading scheme under the WCI are being developed with an eye towards melding them into a federal program. The WCI, however, is fraying at the edges because of concerns in other states about the cost of carbon curbs \tNichols also told the select committee chaired by Senator Fran Pavley (D-Agoura Hills) that the state is expected to get its long-awaited Clean Air Act waiver to implement its tailpipe emissions law before the end of this month. That 2002 law--AB 1493 by Pavley--largely would be preempted by federal automotive standards President Barack Obama announced May 19 (Circuit, May 22, 2009). The proposed federal regulations, covering vehicle model years 2012-2016, would require automakers to achieve average fuel economy of 35.5 miles per gallon in 2016, saving 1.8 billion barrels of oil over the life of the program and cutting about 900 million metric tons in greenhouse gas emissions. AB 1493 is estimated to cut new vehicle carbon emissions by about 20 percent in 2012 and an additional 10 percent by 2016. The state\u2019s tailpipe emission rules are estimated to be the equivalent of taking 6.5 million cars off the road. Cutting emissions from the transportation sector is expected to ease the reduction burden on the electricity sector.