Carbon Trading in the United States

Forthcoming in Van Calster, G., Vandenberghe, W., and Reins, L. (eds), Research Handbook on Climate Mitigation Law, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2014

Vermont Law School Research Paper No. 5-14

31 Pages Posted: 26 Mar 2014 Last revised: 5 Jun 2014

Laurie A. Ristino

Vermont Law School - Center for Agriculture and Food Systems; Natural Resources & Environment Journal; Climate Law Reporter

Katie Hannon Michel

Vermont Law School

Date Written: March 25, 2014

Abstract

Despite several attempts, the United States Congress has been unable to pass cap and trade legislation. Congress’ failure to regulate greenhouse gas emissions has provoked a variety of responses. For example, states have implemented regional carbon trading programs with a range of designs and varying levels of success. In addition, states and environmental organizations successfully sued to compel the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon emissions under the Clean Air Act, a process that is continuing to unfold. Whether the resulting regulations will either preempt or, alternately, promote state and regional carbon markets remains to be seen. Meanwhile, private organizations and individuals have increasingly embraced voluntary carbon offsets, providing an example of a growing alternative to compliance markets. This chapter summarizes the ongoing experiments with carbon trading that continue to evolve in the face of weak federal leadership on climate change.

Keywords: Clean Air Act, carbon trading, carbon offset, voluntary offset market, climate change, greenhouse gas, carbon sequestration, Global Warming Solutions Act, Environmental Protection Agency, AB 32

Suggested Citation

Ristino, Laurie A. and Michel, Katie Hannon, Carbon Trading in the United States (March 25, 2014). Forthcoming in Van Calster, G., Vandenberghe, W., and Reins, L. (eds), Research Handbook on Climate Mitigation Law, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2014; Vermont Law School Research Paper No. 5-14. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2414504

Laurie A. Ristino (Contact Author)

Vermont Law School - Center for Agriculture and Food Systems ( email )

164 Chelsea Street
P.O. Box 96
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States

Natural Resources & Environment Journal ( email )

321 North Clark Street
Chicago, IL 60610
United States

Climate Law Reporter ( email )

Katie Hannon Michel

Vermont Law School ( email )

68 North Windsor Street
P.O. Box 60
South Royalton, VT 05068
United States

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