Midwest governors consider cap-and-trade optionby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The Midwest Governors Association initiative to reduce regional greenhouse gas emissions will miss a November deadline on a plan to reduce carbon emissions.
Representatives of nine states, including Minnesota, have been meeting since March to come up with a plan for a regional cap-and-trade program.
That's according to Mike Robertson, a consultant with the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. He has been meeting with business groups all summer, talking about how the state and region can reduce its greenhouse gas emissions.
"I think many businesses have been viewing the national media and presentation of problem, and feel as a citizen we need to address that problem, 'yeah, let's do it.' They may not understand the full implications of what that might mean from the business side, the cost implications," Robertson said.
Robertson is one of four Minnesotans trying to hammer out a design for a cap-and-trade program for nine Midwestern states.
Cap and trade is a market-based approach to reducing global warming gases. It sets a limit on emissions, and allows businesses to buy and sell their emissions permits.
Robertson said a lot of factors need to be decided, including what sectors of the economy should be included, and whether permits should be given away or sold.