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Economics of Pollution Trading for SO2 and NOx

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  • Burtraw, Dallas

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Palmer, Karen

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Krupnick, Alan

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Evans, David

    ()
    (Resources for the Future)

  • Toth, Russell

Abstract

For years economists have urged policymakers to use market-based approaches such as cap-and-trade programs or emission taxes to control pollution. The SO2 allowance market created by Title IV of the 1990 U.S. Clean Air Act Amendments represents the first real test of the wisdom of economists’ advice. Subsequent urban and regional applications of NOx emission allowance trading took shape in the 1990s in the United States, culminating in a second large experiment in emission trading in the eastern United States that began in 2003. This paper provides an overview of the economic rationale for emission trading and a description of the major U.S. programs for sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx). We evaluate these programs along measures of performance including cost savings, environmental integrity, and incentives for technological innovation. We offer lessons for the design of future programs including, most importantly, those reducing carbon dioxide.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-05-05.

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Date of creation: 06 Mar 2005
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-05-05

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Keywords: sulfur dioxide; nitrogen oxides; emission trading; power plants; air pollution;

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References

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  1. Burtraw, Dallas & Palmer, Karen & Bharvirkar, Ranjit & Paul, Anthony, 2002. "The Effect on Asset Values of the Allocation of Carbon Dioxide Emission Allowances," The Electricity Journal, Elsevier, vol. 15(5), pages 51-62, June.
  2. Burtraw, Dallas, 2000. "Innovation Under the Tradable Sulfur Dioxide Emission Permits Program in the U.S. Electricity Sector," Discussion Papers dp-00-38, Resources For the Future.
  3. Arimura, Toshi H., 2002. "An Empirical Study of the SO2 Allowance Market: Effects of PUC Regulations," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 44(2), pages 271-289, September.
  4. Pizer, William A., 2002. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 409-434, September.
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