Washington state has withdrawn its proposed rules for a cap-and-trade system after receiving stakeholder feedback and will reissue an updated plan this spring, the state’s Department of Ecology said Friday.
Areas that will be updated include clarifying compliance options, transparency in the proposed crediting system, and considerations for Washington manufacturers whose products are sensitive to global pricing, the department said.
“We’ve received 81 comments, both formal and informal. We’ve been meeting with groups and individuals and listening to ideas and concerns and those haven’t necessarily all been submitted via formal comment,” a DoE spokeswoman said by email.
The DoE will continue to meet with stakeholders and gather input.
Natural Resources Defense Council said it, along with other regional environmental groups, have been actively involved in the design process and have “identified some important opportunities to improve the draft” that will also lower compliance costs and increase the scheme’s transparency and integrity, all while fitting “squarely within the legal authority of the state to cut pollution”.
“The new draft should establish an economy-wide cap which would accordingly limit the ability of each regulated polluter to emit carbon. An economy-wide cap is better than the facility-specific approach in the draft rule because it guarantees reductions and maintains an even incentive across all the economy even as individual businesses enter or grow in the state,” the NRDC’s Noah Long wrote in a blog
“Under an economy wide cap, reductions are measured at the source and use of ‘offsets,’ reductions from outside the regulated sectors, can and should be limited to well-defined and well-documented protocols. It also keeps open the possibility of joining a broader carbon market, which could lower costs of the program and build momentum for further national and international action.”
Washington published its proposal for an ETS at the start of the year, drawing attention for its intention to allow emitters to earn tradable units by reducing emissions below target levels, and to restrict ownership of units to compliance entities.
By Alessandro Vitelli and Mike Szabo – firstname.lastname@example.org