Carbon trading is a system that caps the amount of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, that companies may emit each year. Companies exceeding their quota can buy extra certificates from those companies that succeeded in shrinking their carbon footprint by adopting environmentally friendly technology or modifying production in other ways.
The system is the main tool used by the European Union to meet its ambitious pollution-reduction goals.
But since the start of the system in Europe, coal-burning utilities have earned windfall profits, while the prices of credits have never been high enough for long enough to force utilities and businesses to replace conventional power with significant amounts of renewable energy or other clean sources.
Meanwhile, in Blue/Green Oregon;
SALEM — Big wind energy projects no longer need state incentives, Gov. Ted Kulongoski said today, as lawmakers explored a plan to rein in the soaring costs of Oregon’s tax breaks for green energy.
At a meeting with newspaper editors from across the state, Kulongoski said the $11 million in state tax credits routinely given to 10 megawatt-plus wind farms has “run its course.”
“Do they need the state to subsidize them? No,” Kulongoski said.
His comments came shortly after state officials released a revised price tag of the Oregon Business Energy Tax Credit, which has grown at a brisk pace: $235 million for the current two-year budget cycle, growing to an estimated $374 million for 2011-13.
Those numbers are far higher than estimates from a year ago and have prompted a top-to-bottom review of the incentives. Legislators say the subsidies sap money from public schools and other state services.
At Kulongoski’s request, lawmakers in 2007 expanded the incentives to try to entice wind, solar and other green energy projects to set up shop in Oregon. Since then, the cost of the incentives has grown by 50 percent per year — faster than any other program in state government. Investigations by The Oregonian found that state officials intentionally downplayed cost estimates and that millions of dollars have been wasted on projects that went bankrupt or never performed as promised.
Subsidies are part of the package that Obama wants under the rubric of a “jobs bill”. It didn’t work in Oregon, why do they think it’s going to work nationwide>