Is “Cap and Trade” Bogus?

The Composter thinks so, at least in terms of reducing mercury emissions. He also points us to a New York Times article that describes a lawsuit by New Jersey and eight other states that challenges

a new federal rule that they claim does not do enough to control dangerous mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants…

The suit is aimed at a new rule released by the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this month to exempt power plants from the most stringent controls for mercury emissions under Section 112 of the federal Clean Air Act.

Instead of having to apply cutting-edge technology to reduce mercury, power plants will be given the option of using a system called cap and trade. Under that system, operators can purchase pollution credits from other plants that have managed to lower their mercury emissions below targeted levels.

Have we gone too far with cap and trade? Clearly it worked in cleaning up problems like acid rain, and could have a major impact on greenhouse gases, but should we not settle for any mercury pollution?

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