The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Sarah Goldberg

Western Climate Initiative Carbon Market Plan Shows States Are Again Leading the Way

Statement by Erin Rogers, Union of Concerned Scientists


The Western Climate Initiative (WCI) today released a detailed plan moving a regional carbon market one step
closer to reality. The WCI is comprised of seven Western states and four
Canadian provinces that have developed a comprehensive strategy for
reducing global warming pollution 15 percent below 2005 levels by 2020,
including a regional carbon market set to begin in 2012.

Below is a statement by Erin Rogers, manager of the Western States
Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

"The detailed plan for a regional carbon market released today by the
Western Climate Initiative reminds us that states-and provinces -are
ready, willing and able to lead the way to a clean energy economy in the
absence of federal leadership.

"This plan has been in the works for many months, but the timing of
its release coincides with frustrating news that the chances of the U.S.
Senate passing a comprehensive climate and energy bill this session are

"Given the gridlock on Capitol Hill, WCI's announcement comes as good
news. The WCI has now established specific, uniform standards for the
states and provinces participating in this cross-border effort by, for
example, spelling out the mechanics of how WCI will run a joint auction
for carbon allowances, and setting requirements for uniform emissions
reporting and compliance tracking. All in all, it represents a major
step toward a clean energy future that can provide tremendous economic,
health and environmental benefits.

"If every state and regional statute, executive order, and climate
program across the country is implemented, we can make significant
progress toward meeting our national global-warming pollution-reduction
obligation. But state and regional action alone is not enough. Members
of Congress, especially those from the seven states in the Western
Climate Initiative, should follow the WCI's example and pass a
comprehensive national clean energy and climate plan.

The Union of Concerned Scientists is the leading science-based nonprofit working for a healthy environment and a safer world. UCS combines independent scientific research and citizen action to develop innovative, practical solutions and to secure responsible changes in government policy, corporate practices, and consumer choices.