September 26th, 2008
By John DeFore
This week, for the first time in the United States, an auction was held allowing power plants to bid against each other for the right to spew carbon dioxide into the air.
The goal, of course, is to reduce atmospheric carbon by finding the best way of putting a price tag on it for polluters. Ten Eastern states â€” Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont â€” have formed the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (or RGGI, pronounced “Reggie”) to coordinate their efforts by placing mandatory overall caps on emissions levels, then auctioning off allowances for CO2 emissions that can be traded between companies. As a result, companies will have a financial incentive to clean up their own act as quickly as possible.