Cap and Trade What?

When the conversation turns to cap and trade, is your first thought “Oh, that will never work, it’s too complicated"? True, the concept can be harder to get one’s arms around than a gas tax or even a carbon tax. (Who doesn’t understand taxes, right?) But cap and trade is an effective means by which to reduce pollution. And among regulators and industry, it's also a familiar one.

In the 1990s the acid rain cap-and-trade program in the United States achieved 100 percent compliance in reducing sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions. In fact, power plants took advantage of the allowance banking provision to reduce SO2 emissions 22 percent below mandated levels for the first phase of the program. On the global warming front, cap and trade is already up and running in 10 New England and Mid-Atlantic states. These states have pledged to work together to achieve a 10 percent reduction in climate-altering pollution from regional power plants by 2018.

While driving down pollution, cap and trade will also generate a lot of money for investing in energy-efficiecy programs and clean energy. These investments, in turn, will help to create more than 2 million new American jobs in just two years.

Cap and trade is a central feature of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. Please take a minute to tell your legislators to vote yes for ACES. And to keep up with what's happening at Copenhagen, check posts by NRDC's Swtichboard bloggers and On Earth editors.

Photo credit: / CC BY 2.0


Excellent suggestion on how we can be involved in legislative steps to improve our environment. You should include a link to more information about cap and trade for those unfamiliar with the proposed bill. Boston DUI lawyers

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