In divvying the proceeds of the California statewide cap-and-trade plan for emissions of greenhouse gases, the residents will come first in line for payouts rather than the polluters. The state’s carbon trading system was due to begin 2012 with billions of dollars at stake. The California plan has its bedrock on the 2006 state law, AB32, which requires states to cut emissions to the level it was in 1990 by 2020. The key strategy adopted by the California Air Resource Board to reach this goal was the cap-and-trade program. As it is with every environmental program, California was ready to serve as a test field for the nation.