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Carbon Markets

President Orders Tighter Fuel Standards for Trucks

February 18, 2014 2:32 PM | Posted by Greissing, Patrick | Topic(s): Federal Policy/Programs, Mobile Sources, Carbon Markets, Clean Tech, GHG / Climate Change

President Obama has issued an order to the U.S. EPA and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to develop tighter fuel economy standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks beyond model year 2018. The new standards must be finalized by March 2016, with the proposed standards developed by March 2015. Obama said the standards represent “another big step to grow our economy and reduce America's dependence on foreign oil.” The White House plans to work with truck manufacturers and operators in developing the standards.

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New Contract to Make Carbon Trading Easier?

October 3, 2013 4:53 PM | Posted by Greissing, Patrick | Topic(s): State Policy/Programs, Carbon Markets, GHG / Climate Change

Many of the covered entities under California’s cap-and-trade program have unveiled a new agreement that would standardize secondary trades of carbon allowances and offsets in the cap-and-trade market. The agreement was developed by the International Emissions Trading Association (IETA) and incorporates ideas and expertise from some of the largest firms operating under the California carbon market. The “California Emissions Trading Master Agreement” (CETMA) deals “with a number of secondary market trading issues specific to California’s unique AB32 compliance market, including offset invalidation, holding limits, registry and tracking system mechanics, and the buyer liability provisions under the California rules,” according to an IETA press release. Under the “buyer liability” provision in the contract, the burden on replacing credits in the event of a project being invalidated would now fall on the seller instead of the buyer. The agreement also comes at an opportune time as California officials have recently begun approving offset projects. The agreement as a whole is a tool that should enhance market liquidity.

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The Role of Social Cost of Carbon in Federal Rulemakings Under Scrutiny

The social cost of carbon (SCC) is an estimate of economic damages caused by climate change and includes changes in human health, property damages from flood risks and agricultural productivity among others; however it does not include all categories of damage. EPA and other federal agencies have used the SCC to estimate climate benefits during the rulemaking process since SCC estimates were first published in 2010. Recently the White House increased the estimated SCC value from $22/ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) to $36/ton of CO2.

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Judge Blocks California LCFS

January 5, 2012 9:56 AM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): State Policy/Programs, Carbon Markets

Last week, Judge Lawrence O’Neill issued a preliminary injunction against California’s low-carbon fuel standard(LCFS). The LCFS program, which was originally ordered by former Gov. Schwarzenegger in 2007 and later approved by the California Air Resources Board(CARB) in late 2009, would cut vehicle emissions by 10 percent by 2020. Judge O’Neill believes that the LCFS ultimately discriminates against interstate commerce. His ruling reads in part, “California is attempting to stop leakage of GHG emissions by treating electricity generated outside of the state differently than electricity generated inside its border. This discriminates against interstate commerce.” CARB has said they will appeal the ruling and seek a stay on the injunction, as will other environmental groups. This is not a surprise, as the LCFS along with the state’s cap-and-trade program are two key policy initiatives for the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It will be interesting to see if this ruling affects other states in their efforts to begin greenhouse gas reduction programs.

CARB Board Approves AB 32 Scoping Plan

August 25, 2011 10:18 AM | Posted by Maureen Gorsen | Topic(s): State Policy/Programs, Carbon Markets

The California Air Resources Board(CARB) held a board meeting today to review the Final Supplement to AB 32 and the AB 32 Scoping Plan Functional Equivalent Document. The ARB staff gave a presentation updating the current status of AB 32 implementation and also detailed the updated environmental analysis of alternatives to the scoping plan. The presentation reviewed the current progress of key measures already being implemented under AB 32, including: the low carbon fuel standard, SB 375, and the renewable portfolio standard.

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Australia Pushes Back Carbon Trading

May 5, 2009 10:57 AM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs, Carbon Markets

Australia had planned to establish a carbon market in 2010, but has announced that the program will be delayed a year due to the economy.  The announcement from Prime Minister Rudd comes as Australia is experiencing its first recession in 17 years.  The decision was not welcomed by renewable energy groups or carbon management firms, who see the decision to delay the process as a year of lost economic growth.

New Hampshire Officially Signs Onto RGGI

June 13, 2008 3:24 PM | Posted by ben.snowden@alston.com | Topic(s): State Policy/Programs, Regional Policy/Programs, Carbon Markets

On June 11, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch signed into law legislation making his State a part of  the multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).  The legislation also authorizes a cap-and-trade program for CO2 emissions, following the RGGI model statute, and establishes a state energy conservation and efficiency board.  Like the RGGI model cap-and-trade law, the New Hampshire statute provides for the auctioning of almost all allowances, but does allow early reduction allowances to be granted to affected CO2 sources.

Other RGGI signatories including Maine and New York have proposed or implemented all-auction trading schemes, as well.

Carbon-Trading Exchange Opens in Canada

June 2, 2008 11:11 AM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs, Carbon Markets

The Montreal Climate Exchange, a joint venture with the Chicago Climate Exchange, has been opened in Canada.  It is Canada's first carbon-trading forum that has the ultimate goal of helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Luc Bertrand, vice-chairman of the board of the Montreal Climate Exchange, said users of the credits will be companies that need to manage "the risk associated to their obligation in reducing emissions." 

Rep. Markey Announces New Global Warming Legislation

May 28, 2008 10:41 AM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): Federal Policy/Programs, Energy Policy, Carbon Markets

Rep. Markey (D-MA) announced today that he will be introducing global warming legislation entitled, "Investing in Climate Action and Protection Act," next week when Congress returns from the Memorial Day recess.  In a statement, Rep. Markey said, "We must cap pollution, we must invest in consumers, jobs and the technology of tomorrow, and America must lead the world in solving our greatest challenges, and we must start now."  The press release also details that the bill would "reduce global warming pollution according to scientific targets, reinvest any revenue back to American workers and technology, and would re-establish America as a leader in solving the globe’s greatest challenge, climate change."  The emissions targets of the bill include reducing emissions to 85 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.   The bill would use an auction system for carbon credits and then reinvest the revenue from the auction over the life of the bill back to the American people and "into promoting a clean energy economy."

Carbon Market Unofficially Begins in Australia

May 20, 2008 11:38 AM | Posted by Patrick Greissing | Topic(s): International Policy/Programs, Carbon Markets

With the sale of 10,000 tons of "permits to pollute" from AGL Energy to Westpac, the carbon market has unofficially begun in Australia.  The price per ton of carbon in this sale was $19.  AGL Energy said in a statement that the sale would take place in 2012. The official emissions trading scheme is not set to begin in Australia until 2010.  Dr. Beck, chairman of the information and business networking firm Asia-Pacific Emissions Trading Forum, said, "It really marks the beginning of trading directly linked to an Australian emissions trading scheme.  It's demonstrating confidence that the scheme will be established."  Dr. Beck said the reason behind buying and selling permits now is a way to minimize risk and establish the price of carbon.

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