Some critics of the Environmental Protection Agency’s new requirements for power plants argue that forcing emissions reduction will curtail economic growth. But the recent experience of states that already cap carbon emissions reveals that emissions and economic growth are no longer tightly tied together.
The nine states that joined the Northeastern cap-and-trade program and instituted a carbon cap in 2009 — Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont — have substantially reduced their carbon emissions in recent years. At the same time, those states have had stronger economic growth than the rest of the country.
The E.P.A.’s requirement will likely spur other states to think about joining such a cap-and-trade program, which allows companies to buy and sell emissions permits from each other.
(READ the full story in the New York Times)