Another One Bites the Dust?

California’s cap-and-trade partners are dropping like flies.

It’s not official yet, but it’s looking like what was once envisioned as a regional carbon trading program involving seven US states and four Canadian provinces, will now involve just one US state – California – and just three provinces: Quebec, British Columbia, and Ontario.

One by one, members of the Western Climate Initiative have postponed their involvement or dropped out altogether, as Arizona did last February when Gov. Jan Brewer issued an executive order backing out of the carbon trading program.

And today, an online publisher quotes a key official in California’s carbon trading program, that the state stands to lose its last remaining US partner, New Mexico. As Colin Sullivan of E&E reported:

Kevin Kennedy, assistant executive officer in charge of the Office of Climate Change at the California Air Resources Board, told lawyers during a forum sponsored by Law Seminars International that the election results likely mean New Mexico will not participate in the fledgling WCI, at least at the outset of the market starting Jan. 1, 2012.

“The change in administration probably takes New Mexico out of the situation,” Kennedy said.

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Last week New Mexico’s new governor, Susana Martinez, announced that she was removing all members of the state’s Environmental Improvement Board, “because of what she said was its ‘anti-business’ policies.”  Last year, the EIB approved measures for the state to limit emissions and join the WCI’s cap-and-trade program.