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The Enforcement Challenge of Cap-and-Trade Regulation

Lesley K. McAllister

University of California, Davis - School of Law

March 3, 2011

Environmental Law, Vol. 40, p. 1195, 2010

The enforcement of a cap-and-trade program requires that the government know the mass emissions of all capped facilities, the whole quantity of their emissions over a given compliance period. An economy-wide cap and trade program addressing greenhouse gas emissions in the United States of the type proposed in the American Clean Energy and Security Act would bring with it formidable monitoring and enforcement challenges. This paper explains why accurate emissions data is so important to the success of a cap-and-trade program; discusses the methods available to obtain accurate emissions under a self-monitoring and reporting framework and recommends a cooperative federalism model of enforcement in which significant roles are played by the federal government, state government, citizen groups, and potentially third-party verification entities.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 36

Keywords: cap and trade regulation, greenhouse gases, enforcement, offsets, self-monitoring, self-reporting, cooperative federalism, citizen enforcement

JEL Classification: K23, K32

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Date posted: March 31, 2010 ; Last revised: March 7, 2011

Suggested Citation

McAllister, Lesley K., The Enforcement Challenge of Cap-and-Trade Regulation (March 3, 2011). Environmental Law, Vol. 40, p. 1195, 2010. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1580144

Contact Information

Lesley K. McAllister (Contact Author)
University of California, Davis - School of Law ( email )
400 Mrak Hall Dr
Davis, CA CA 95616-5201

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