Photo via Idealistic NYC
Nobody's suppose to like cap and trade, right? Its staunchest opponents call it a 'cap and tax', and many of its supporters are even hesitant to mention the words. And as early as last May, 76% of Americans had no idea what it was. But those 76% must not be New York public radio listeners. WAMC's latest pledge drive offered retired carbon certificates from New England's cap and trade system (yes, there is such a thing) as prizes for donating, and to the station's great surprise, they quickly became the most popular gift.Susan Kraemer reports at Clean Technica:
WAMC in Albany New York was given 600 carbon certificates to give listeners who called in and pledged their support for the radio station with a $100 pledge. They imagined would make for a rather dull pledge gift. After all, everybody disapproves of Cap and Trade, and nobody understands it.Or so conventional wisdom held--which, it turns out, couldn't be further from the truth. The carbon certificates were quickly garnering $1000 pledges, multiple pledges from people who wanted each of their children to have one, and vastly outdid the other gifts (Sorry, Pete Seeger).
It seems that the radio listeners anticipate cap and trade becoming a cornerstone of domestic energy policy, and saw an historic opportunity to own one of the very first US carbon certificates:
The carbon credits were donated by the Adirondack Council a local environmental organization. It bought the carbon certificates at the first US Cap and Trade program - the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. popularly known as Reggie (RGGI) it sets a ceiling on carbon emissions from utilities in New York and nine other Northeastern states.The entire event seems to prove that there's more support/anticipation for a cap and trade based system--at least in New York--than we often give the public credit for. And why shouldn't there be? It's the most feasible way to reduce dependence on foreign oil, stimulate cleantech innovation, and begin to mitigate climate change.
Under Cap and Trade, utilities must pay to pollute, and there is a ceiling or "cap" on the total regional carbon pollution allowed. By buying and retiring the finite number of carbon certificates available, pressure is exerted on utilities to clean up.
The group retires the allowances so they can never be used to create carbon dioxide emissions.