Almost Half of U.S. States Are Considering Carbon Trading Programs
We’ve been noticing a growing trend – conservatives are becoming more pragmatic about climate issues, and proposing market-based climate solutions. Right now, nearly half of U.S. states, including many with Republican governors, are considering using some form of carbon trading to help them comply with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. Though some governors strongly oppose the plan and seek to challenge it in court, state policymakers are seeing that if the plan survives, carbon trading is the best way to reach their targets. States whose emissions exceed the EPA allowance could offset those emissions by purchasing carbon credits from another state. Many utilities also support carbon markets because they reduce the costs of compliance, which in turn helps keep consumer costs down.
One reason conservatives are reluctant to accept or act on climate change is that the solutions they hear about – such as increased government regulation – don’t fit their ideology. But market-based solutions can help open the doors to cooperation. As Bob Perciasepe, President of our America Knows How partner Center for Climate and Energy Solutions, points out in the article below, if the state carbon markets are successful, they could help make Republicans more open to cap and trade, potentially leading to federal or even global carbon trading programs.
By Elizabeth Harball and Emily Holden, contributors to E&E News
Beneath the political storm raging around the Obama administration’s climate change rules for the electricity sector, a quiet but powerful push for carbon trading is spreading across the nation.
Close to half of states, including many run by Republicans, are hoping to use some form of a carbon market similar to cap and trade to meet federal Clean Power Plan targets, according to a ClimateWire review of high-level planning talks.
In at least 20 of the 47 states that must meet U.S. EPA requirements, top policymakers or major utilities are pushing for a system where power generators could purchase carbon allowances or credits across state borders as a way to meet EPA’s goals.
Image credit: Marcel Oosterwijk / Flickr