Is Cap-and-Trade Working?
Posted at 10:15 a.m. on Feb. 11
The cap-and-trade program currently in effect in nine states across the Northeast — known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative — continues to tighten its cap on emissions after a decade of operation. Brad Plumer looks at whether the program has been effective.
“Carbon-dioxide emissions from power plants in the Northeast have fallen…from 188 million tons of carbon-dioxide in 2005 to 91 million tons in 2012… Yet a good chunk of that drop was driven by the recession, which bit into electricity demand.”
“The flip side to this, though, is that the RGGI cap-and-trade program hasn’t driven up electricity prices… The program has also been quite lucrative for the states involved, which have raised about $912 million since 2009.”
“Ultimately, RGGI might best be thought of less as a solution to climate change and more of a revenue-raiser for the Northeast.”