Friday, May 27, 2005

New York conference to discuss US carbon caps

The drama on regulation of climate change in the United States will be opening off Broadway next month. Leading players in energy and the environment will meet in New York City to weigh in on the multi-state energy initiative known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
The complex plan is being discussed by states' representatives, power companies, large electric consumers and environmental organizations. It will place a cap on emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants in several US states - from Maine to Delaware. It was devised in reaction to the decision by the US federal administration not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol and by a desire of state representatives to start moving ahead - given that inevitably in the future there will have to be some form of regulation of greenhouse gases. Many companies also prefer to have regulatory certainty (see an earlier story on Duke Energy asking for a carbon tax).
The plan is expected to be unveiled some time this summer. Among the contentious issues under discussion are the type and level of the cap, the time period for phase in, the nature of the trading program. Stakeholders are also discussing "leakage", the potential for a shift of dirty power production to other parts of the country that are unregulated, and whether more solutions should be sought from efficiency, trimming demand, or constraints on the supply side.

For more information on the NY conference:
  • CleanAir-Coolplanet Website