Carbon Cap-And-Trade System Kicks Off « The Washington Independent
The first carbon cap-and-trade program has launched in the U.S. this week.
Ten northeastern states are capping their industrial CO2 emissions at 188 million tons and holding auctions for power plants to trade pollution allowances.
This is a historic event because it associates emitting CO2 with a price. The ten states are hoping that once the Northeastern, Midwestern and Western initiatives all take off, greenhouse emissions will start looking like acid rain pollutants, which were successfully regulated through their own cap-and-trade system, the Acid Rain Program.
Under the initiative, plants have started bidding on allowances to emit greenhouse gases. 90 percent of allowances will be auctioned quarterly by the Northeast Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which is responsible for this effort. The expected price on carbon is expected to be set below $5 a ton.
Two other regional cap-and-trade systems are well on their way to following suit — one in the Midwest and one in the West. It’s basically the states’ way of telling Congress and the White House, we really don’t need you telling us what to do about our regional pollution.