A first push of it's kind to reduce pollution will force some California companies to shell out extra cash. Essentially the state is telling company officials if they want to pollute, then they have to pay up.
Elizabeth Jonasson, Coaliton for Clean Air says, "Reducing green house gases is definitely important for our planet, for the Valley, for our way of life. It's critical that we do do our part to reduce climate change."
In a push to fight global warming, some California companies will basically have to pay to pollute. On Wednesday, the state's Air Resources Board will be holding a first ever 'cap and trade' auction, hoping to limit carbon dioxide and other heat trapping emissions in the air.
"The idea is that businesses can either purchase credits to offset their emissions or they can reduce them through improved technology or improved efficiency."
Large factories, power plants and oil companies will buy and sell permits, called allowances, to release pollutants. Each allowance will cover one ton of carbon dioxide and will sell for a minimum of $10. Companies that reduce emissions quickly can sell their permits to other businesses.
Mike Manos, General Manager of Jack's Tire and Oil says, "What's so silly about cap and trade is if you have to buy offsets so that you can pollute more, it's just a fundraising... that's all I think it is."
Mike Manos runs a tire company in the Valley. He fears this new system will force companies out of the state.
"My opinion is it's going to drive businesses out of the state of California who are lacking in income right now."
Environmental groups like the Coalition for Clean Air in Fresno applaud the idea, but are waiting to see how it plays out.
"It will really depend on the enforcement and making sure everybody is following the rules. There will be tweaks that need to be made, there will be issues as this is the first one," says Jonasson.
Wednesday's auction will take place electronically. It's expected to generate about a billion dollars. No word yet on how that money will be spent exactly.
The new cap and trade program will go into affect January first. The program stems from a global warming bill passed in 2006.