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U.S. Utilities Consider Cap and Trade to Cut Carbon Emissions

Regional transmission organizations (RTOs) in the midwestern and southwestern United States are discussing a carbon cap and trade system to comply with the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

A recent meeting of utility officials and regulators “featured a repeat of the near-universal complaints” about the federal climate plan, RTO Insider reports. “Virtually absent, however, was any talk of fighting the EPA rule, which is due to be finalized this summer.”

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With even coal giant Peabody Energy admitting that “there is going to be a value on carbon,” most of the states affiliated with the Midcontinent Independent System Operator (MISO) and the Southwest Power Pool (SPP) were ready to get down to business, looking at the technical details on which a cap and trade system would stand or fall. “I think there is broad recognition that a regional response will most likely be more cost-effective and operationally beneficial,” said Minnesota Public Utilities Commissioner Nancy Lange.

Doug Scott of the Great Plains Institute, estimated that “41 of the 50 states are currently taking part in some discussion or another with other states, trying to figure out the potential for multistate collaboration.” (h/t to Midwest Energy News [2] for pointing us to this story)