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Cap and trade is growing state by state

States push cap-and-trade system designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants

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March 2007 -- State policies to cut emissions, combined with business calls for stronger federal leadership, may yet prod Washington into acting in the next two years.

Nine Northeastern states are moving ahead with a cap-and-trade system designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants 10 percent by 2019. A 10th state, Maryland, will join the four-year-old group on June 30.

California pushed the envelope further last year, by enacting legislation to establish an economy-wide cap-and-trade system designed to cut the state's greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020 and 80 percent by 2050. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger followed up with a proposed standard to reduce the carbon intensity of California transportation fuels 10 percent by 2020.

More states, led by both Republican and Democratic governors, have joined the parade. Since last December, six governors have announced policies to push greenhouse gas emissions down significantly.

Canada is getting into the act too. In British Columbia, Premier Gordon Campbell announced an aggressive climate plan that would require new coal-fired power plants to sequester all carbon emissions. No other jurisdiction, U.S. or Canadian, has gone that far.

Ten leading companies, including Alcoa, DuPont and General Electric, joined with four national environmental organizations to form the U.S. Climate Action Partnership, which is calling for mandatory carbon caps, coupled with market-oriented provisions that would enable businesses to profit from innovations that drive down emissions.

SOURCE: Green Biz -- read more
Author: Jim DiPeso is the policy director for Republicans for Environmental Protection.

Edited by Carolyn Allen
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