Washington limits carbon pollution from largest sources

SEATTLE (AP) _ Washington state has adopted a new rule to limit greenhouse gas emissions from large polluters.

State environmental regulators on Thursday morning finalized a rule that requires large industrial emitters to gradually reduce carbon emissions over time. It would cover many industries, including power plants, oil refineries, fuel distributors, pulp and paper mills and others.

Gov. Jay Inslee sought the action last year after failing to gain legislative support for a more ambitious plan to charge polluters a fee, similar to California's cap-and-trade program. A coalition of Northeast states also has a cap-and-trade program that applies to power plants.

Under Washington's rule, large polluters would be required to reduce carbon emissions by an average of 1.7 percent annually starting in 2017.

Supporters say it is needed to protect human health and the environment, while businesses and other say it would harm the state's ability to attract and retain businesses.