By Nathanael Massey
Under the Obama administration’s proposed rule for power-sector carbon emissions, states are given wide latitude in charting their paths to compliance. The plan’s flexibility is one of its cardinal selling points— although U.S. EPA may set state-specific targets, it’s up to the states themselves to decide how to get there.
As a result, the process could result in as many different approaches to carbon reduction as there are states covered under the rule.
But weighing in on the Clean Power Plan (CPP) in the journal Science last week, a group of the nation’s leading carbon economists had this advice for states: If you want to reduce emissions cheaply, you’ll need to work together.
Ideally, states will opt to coordinate their approaches through regional carbon markets, said co-author Michael Greenstone, a former Obama adviser now with the University of Chicago.
“While the EPA has allowed states to achieve emissions reductions through multiple approaches [in the CPP], the best way to minimize costs and facilitate economic growth is by joining regional trading programs,” he said. “Even better would be if all states joined in the same trading market.
“EPA should do everything possible to encourage all states to join together in a single market,” he added.
Continue reading at Scientific American…