California succeeded in lowering greenhouse gas emissions last year. But a new study finds the state’s ambitious cap-and-trade program may have had nothing to do with it.
U.S. power plants rank among the highest emitters of greenhouse gases in the world. Dialing back their emissions would at least have marked a decisive step toward a national clean-energy economy.
A new study finds that California’s proliferation of renewable energy plants is responsible for over 90 percent of direct economic benefits from the state’s major climate programs to Riverside and San Bernardino counties, and more than $12 billion in net benefits to the region. The research also flies in the face of arguments that regulations kill jobs.
Some environmental activists worry that proposals floated by Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders to extend cap-and-trade, the state’s primary tool in its climate fight, will bar local air districts from regulating carbon dioxide emissions at state-regulated facilities.
Many public health and climate activists insist that cap-and-trade offsets are a poor substitute for actual emissions cuts, and in fact, might be making pollution worse in some communities.
Dean Kuipers on why Sacramento punted on Cap-and-Trade.