Air Pollution Control Equipment Services, Emissions

Clinton proposes new emission trading system for power plants

By JEFF BLISS

WASHINGTON, Nov. 11, 2000 (Bloomberg) — President Bill Clinton proposed creating new standards to reduce emissions from U.S. power plants as a new report asserts that those pollutants contribute to rising global temperatures.

In a speech broadcast over the Internet, Clinton said utility companies could reach compliance with caps on nitrogen oxides, mercury and carbon dioxide emissions using so-called “emissions trading.”

Under this system, companies that don’t reach the standards on their own pay a fee to power plants whose emissions are below the federal limits. Emissions trading has been used in attempts to reduce sulfur dioxide, the main ingredient in acid rain.

The trading “provides a great incentive to run a cleaner operation,” said Paul Bledsoe, a Clinton spokesman. Clinton didn’t propose specific emissions levels, and Congress would have to approve any new standards, Bledsoe said.

A report commissioned by Congress and released today warns that greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide will boost global temperatures 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 100 years. The world hasn’t experienced such a change since the last Ice Age, 15,000 years ago, Clinton said.

“It could mean rising sea levels, the loss of species and the destruction of entire ecosystems,” he said in his address broadcast at www.whitehouse.gov. “There may be other impacts we simply can’t predict.”

More than 160 countries will gather next week at the Hague in the Netherlands to craft rules on global warming. The U.S. plans to oppose restrictions on emissions trading and seek penalties for countries that fail to comply with standards.

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