States develop cap and trade programs

Ashley Milne-Tyte Nov 25, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

States develop cap and trade programs

Ashley Milne-Tyte Nov 25, 2009
HTML EMBED:
COPY

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: Legislation to use market forces to reduce carbon emissions is stuck in Congress. But some states are already out in front with their own market-based programs. And with the economy in the dumps, they have even more reason to rev it up. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports.


Ashley Milne-Tyte: Ten states in the Northeast have already banded together to form a regional cap and trade program. They’ve set a limit or cap on total carbon emissions from power plants. The plants can then buy and sell permits allowing them to release greenhouse gases.

The idea is that plants that reduce their emissions quickly can sell their permits to those that can’t cut emissions as fast. The permits are sold at auction and the individual states get the money.

Terry Tamminen of Seventh Generation Advisors says for some states, that money couldn’t come at a better time.

Terry Tamminen: So in the case of New York as an example, they, of the recent auctions, were able to get about $200 million, and Governor Patterson carved off about $90 million of that to help balance his state budget.

Other states could start to see similar income. Two groups of states in the West and Midwest are trying to ramp up their own cap and trade programs.

Barry Rabe teaches public policy at the University of Michigan. He says these regional efforts could eventually form one big carbon market.

Barry Rabe: And in fact there has been pretty active conversation, even to the point of shuttle diplomacy, between some of these states and regional leaders.

And it’s not just U.S. states eager to take part. He says some Canadian provinces and Mexicans states are involved in the talks as well.

I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

As a nonprofit news organization, our future depends on listeners like you who believe in the power of public service journalism.

Your investment in Marketplace helps us remain paywall-free and ensures everyone has access to trustworthy, unbiased news and information, regardless of their ability to pay.

Donate today — in any amount — to become a Marketplace Investor. Now more than ever, your commitment makes a difference.

Raise a glass to Marketplace!

Just $7/month gets you a limited edition KaiPA pint glass. Plus bragging rights that you support independent journalism.
Donate today to get yours!