Beginning Wednesday, the state of California will implement a “cap and trade” system designed to curb carbon emissions and cripple the state’s economy. Well, actually, it’s just designed to curb carbon emissions. Crippling the state economy is merely a nifty byproduct.

Now the Chamber of Commerce is suing the state, saying that the carbon trading system isn’t really a trading system – it’s a tax, unconstitutional under state law. Of course, they’re correct. The state claims that the cap and trade system, which regulates how much companies can emit unless they pay the state extra cash – sort of like environmental indulgences – is just a big regulatory fee. Except that the state creates the necessity for the auction, and punishes you if you don’t take part. The state is looking to raise some $500 million to $1 billion. Which will pay for the union employees across the state for a few weeks.