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Updating the Allocation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Permits in a Federal Cap-and-Trade Program

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  • Meredith Fowlie
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    Abstract

    U.S. adoption of a cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases could place some domestic producers at a disadvantage relative to international competitors who do not face similar regulation. To address this issue, proposed federal climate change legislation includes a provision that would freely allocate (or rebate) emission allowances to eligible sectors using a continuously updating output-based formula. Eligibility for the rebates would be determined at the industry-level based on emissions or energy intensity and a measure of import penetration. Dynamic updating of permit allocations has the potential to mitigate adverse competitiveness impacts and emissions leakage in eligible industries. It can also undermine the cost-effectiveness of permit market outcomes, as more of the mandated emissions reductions must then be achieved by sources deemed ineligible for rebates. This chapter investigates both the benefits and the costs of output-based updating. It identifies differences between proposed eligibility criteria and those consistent with standard measures of economic efficiency. The analysis underlines the importance of taking both benefits and costs into account when determining the scale and scope of output-based rebating provisions in cap-and-trade programs.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16307.

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    Date of creation: Aug 2010
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    Publication status: published as Updating the Allocation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Permits in a Federal Cap-and-Trade Program , Meredith Fowlie. in The Design and Implementation of U.S. Climate Policy , Fullerton and Wolfram. 2012
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16307

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Robert W. Hahn & Robert N. Stavins, 2011. "The Effect of Allowance Allocations on Cap-and-Trade System Performance," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 54(S4), pages S267 - S294.
    2. Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams, Roberton III & Goulder, Lawrence H., 1999. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 52-84, January.
    3. Parry, Ian W.H. & Goulder, Lawrence H., 2008. "Instrument Choice in Environmental Policy," Discussion Papers, Resources For the Future dp-08-07, Resources For the Future.
    4. repec:reg:rpubli:47 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:
    1. Rosendahl, Knut Einar & Strand, Jon, 2012. "Emissions trading with offset markets and free quota allocations," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6281, The World Bank.

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