Washington Gov. Beckons for Law to Reduce Pollution

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee is trying to make his state the next to adopt a cap-and-trade program similar to California’s. Last week, he called for his state’s legislature to pass a law aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, reports The New York Times. The proposal includes a market-based cap-and-trade program that would require the state’s largest industrial polluters to pay for every metric ton of carbon they emit. Inslee seeks an eventual decline in the program’s initial overall emissions cap.

Critics of the program, including Republican Washington state Sen. Doug Ericksen, say it would raise gas and energy prices.

Refineries, power plants and steel mills are among the kinds of facilities that would be subject to the restriction. Approximately 85 percent of Washington’s carbon emissions would be covered by the program, which applies to any facility emitting more than 25,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases a year.

The governor claims that such a program would raise close to $1 billion dollars in its inaugural year, according to the New York Times article. For comparison, companies have so far paid $2.27 billion for CO2 allowances as part of California’s more than two-year-old cap-and-trade program. That’s according to a report by The Wall Street Journal from late September.

Another existing U.S. cap-and-trade system is the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, 10 northeastern and mid-Atlantic states whose goal is to cap and then reduce CO2 emissions from the power sector by 10 percent by 2018.

Tags: Policy

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