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The simplest explanation for a "cap and trade" policy on...

The simplest explanation for a "cap and trade" policy on carbon emissions is that some governing body puts a cap on the amount of pollutants that can be released, and that industries emitting lots of CO2 must have permits authorizing the amount of pollutants they pump out. Over time, the governing body gradually lowers the number of cap and trade allowances in order to reduce pollution.Read more about B to B Energy Trading Markets

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Auctions for cap and trade emission allowances involve participants bidding online, naming their price per cap and trade allowance and how many cap and trade allowances they want to purchase. An auction overseer collects the bids and orders them based on price. Starting with the highest bids, the overseer works down the list, distributing the cap and trade allowances requested until the number of cap and trade allowances that we're being auctioned off is exhausted.

The auctioneer then draws a line under the last bid before the number of cap and trade allowances ran out. Companies appearing above the line get however many cap and trade allowances they requested at the lowest bid that's still above the price line the auctioneer drew. That price is called the clearing price, and it's how much every winning bidder pays for the cap and trade allowances they purchased, regardless of their original bid price. These auctions only take a few minutes, though companies spend plenty of time preparing for them.

In a cap and trade auction in the summer of 2009, 10 states we're participants, and put just over 33 million cap and trade allowances up for bid, each cap and trade allowance corresponding to one ton of CO2 emissions. Fifty-four bidders bid on cap and trade allowances. Each allowance eventually sold for $3.23 for the compliance interval up to the end of 2009, and $2.06 for the period ending at the end of 2012.

Companies that emit carbons as part of their manufacturing process may choose to meet their emissions cap requirements by reducing emissions, or by purchasing carbon cap and trade allowances from other companies. If they exceed the amount of carbon allowed by their cap plus however many cap and trade allowances they bought, they are subject to strict automatic penalties. This approach theoretically cuts carbon emissions overall and allows wealthier companies to buy enough cap and trade allowances to accommodate their carbon emissions. However, the total number of cap and trade allowances over time decreases as stricter pollution laws go into effect.

In the US, legislation in 1990 concerning acid rain with a cap and trade approach resulted in a success rate of over 99%, with significant reductions during early years of the program, air quality improvements, and sizable reductions in acid rain. The program itself ended up costing 75% less than was originally projected, and the program was acceptable to both environmental organizations and industry, and perhaps even more significantly, to Democrats and Republicans in Congress.

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Posted in Business Service Post Date 01/31/2017