First US carbon market in membership talks with five states

Organisation: Platts
Source: Point Carbon

Officials from the northeast United States’ carbon market are in talks with five states about joining the scheme, the program’s secretary said on Friday, a move that could lead to 30 percent of U.S. states being covered by greenhouse gas trading programs. The five unidentified states are considering joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as a potential way of bypassing federal law that could regulate CO2 emissions from future and existing power plants, said Kenneth Kimmell, who is also commissioner of Massachusetts’ Department of Environmental Protection. “What these states are interested in seeing is what the federal rule will look like and the degree to which it will give credit to RGGI states,” Kimmell said at a Platts emissions conference in Brussels. As part of President Barack Obama’s new climate change plan announced in June, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last month announced it would set emissions performance limits for power plants to be built in the country, and require carbon capture technology for any new coal-burning facilities. The EPA will propose by June 2014 new regulations to set a carbon emissions standard targeting the country’s existing fleet of around 6,600 power plants, and the agency’s chief has said that states, including the nine in RGGI, will be responsible for enacting plans to comply with them.