From: Roger Greenway, ENN
Published December 15, 2009 10:14 AM

Cap and Trade Working Already

The US already has years of experience with Cap and Trade. A sulfur dioxide (SO2) Cap and Trade program has proven an effective control strategy to lower SO2 emissions. It provides elements of market incentives and provides flexibility to facilities that emit large quantities of the pollutant in several ways. One of the most important ways is that it permits older facilities which may need to operate for a limited number of years to purchase "emissions credits" to continue operating without installing un-economic emissions controls by purchasing credits. The credits are created by other sources which control their emissions MORE than required under regulations. There is also an overall reduction in the program to benefit the environment so we are not just transferring emission from one plant to another.

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A reflection of the effectiveness is that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that power plants across the country decreased emissions of SO2, a precursor to acid rain, to 7.6 million tons in 2008. Emissions from sources in the Acid Rain Program fell by 52 percent compared with 1990 levels and are already below the statutory annual emission cap of 8.95 million tons set for compliance in 2010.

In a new report, EPA highlights progress made in reducing SO¬2 emissions under the Acid Rain Program. Key achievements of the program include:

All 3,572 electric generating units subject to the program's SO2 requirements held enough allowances to cover their SO2 emissions, resulting in 100 percent compliance in 2008; The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that power plants across the country decreased emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2), a precursor to acid rain, to 7.6 million tons in 2008. Emissions from sources in the Acid Rain Program fell by 52 percent compared with 1990 levels and are already below the statutory annual emission cap of 8.95 million tons set for compliance in 2010.

In a new report, EPA highlights progress made in reducing SO2 emissions under the Acid Rain Program. Key achievements of the program include:

  • All 3,572 electric generating units subject to the program’s SO2 requirements held enough allowances to cover their SO2 emissions, resulting in 100 percent compliance in 2008;
  • Emission reductions under the Acid Rain Program have led to improvements in air quality with significant benefits to human health; and
  • Sensitive water bodies in the east are showing signs of recovery from acidification.

The Acid Rain Program was established under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and requires major emission reductions of SO2 and nitrogen oxides (NOx) from the electric power industry. The program sets a permanent cap on the total amount of SO2 that may be emitted by electric generating units in the United States, and includes provisions for trading and banking allowances. The program is phased in, with a final 2010 SO2 cap set at 8.95 million tons, a level of about one-half of the emissions from the power sector in 1980.

  • Emission reductions under the Acid Rain Program have led to improvements in air quality with significant benefits to human health; and
  • Sensitive water bodies in the east are showing signs of recovery from acidification.

The Acid Rain Program was established under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments and requires major emission reductions of SO2 and NOx from the electric power industry. The program sets a permanent cap on the total amount of SO2 that may be emitted by electric generating units in the United States, and includes provisions for trading and banking allowances. The program is phased in, with a final 2010 SO2 cap set at 8.95 million tons, a level of about one-half of the emissions from the power sector in 1980.

For more information: http://yosemite.epa.gov/opa/admpress.nsf/0/BDF208410089B5C185257689005E2577

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