California is poised to fight air pollution with its controversial "cap and trade" plan designed to provide a financial incentive for polluters to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The state's Air Resources Board is expected to adopt the final draft of the measure Thursday.
"When Washington considers how to address climate change, as I think it will, California's climate plan will serve as a role model for the national program," board spokesman Stanley Young said.
The board will target power plants and other facilities considered to be the state's top offenders in air pollution.
Starting in 2013, those companies will be forced to buy permits that will limit the amount of greenhouse gases they can produce each year.
However, some of the regulated industries oppose the board's current plan. They see it as a new tax burden.
"We are very concerned about the negative impacts the policy may have on the state's economy, jobs picture, and energy costs," said Catherine Reheis-Boyd, president of the Western State Petroleum Association.
"This policy, if adopted, will amount to a new tax on refiners and other energy intensive industries that could total billions of dollars over several years," she added.
The move is the latest part of the state's 2006 Global Warming Law, which seeks to reduce the emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.