Friday, November 12, 2004

Green in Blue

New York, Eight Other States May Act Without Feds to Limit Greenhouse Gases

Individual American states are putting together a system to cap and trade greenhouse gas emissions, despite the Bush administration's opposition to the Kyoto protocol on global warming. Such a measure was backed by John Kerry during the recent election campaign.

The regional-level initiative, led by the Republican governor of New York, George Pataki, aims to be able to announce the details of a scheme by April next year. Nine north-eastern and mid-Atlantic states are taking part, with several other states and some Canadian provinces involved as "observers" in the process.
The nine states in the project, which is known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), are Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Vermont. In addition, Maryland, the District of Columbia and Pennsylvania are "observers" in the process, as are some eastern Canadian provinces.

This is a surprising and heartening development. Everybody who does not directly profit from burning fossil fuel more or less gets it about global warming. For a Republican governor to take the lead on giving Bush the finger on this issue is a beautiful thing indeed.

It could also be a major gambit in the coming war between the states. For more than 150 years, the deep south has championed "state's rights" as a way first to justify slavery and later to oppose civil right legislation. California went this way a year ago; if these nine states do so as well, a huge chunk of the US economy will have voted with its pocketbook for stewardship and against the oillpatch president - using the red states' favorite line of reasoning.


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