Evaluation of Comprehensive GHG Emissions Reduction Programs Outside of Washington

This report examines potential GHG reduction policies implemented in other jurisdictions, and considers their applicability to Washington. Two broad categories of policies are presented: comprehensive economy-wide efforts and sector-specific or technology-specific programs. The coverage of GHG emissions regulated in comprehensive carbon pricing programs can involve virtually the entire economy of the host jurisdiction. However, these programs vary in how pricing is imposed, in some cases constraining the quantity of emissions under a cap and trade regime, and in others directly setting the price of GHG emissions with a carbon tax. Sector-specific or technology-specific programs target discrete sources of emissions, or activities that drive emissions, and can together form a portfolio that is comprehensive. These policies may target electricity generation, transportation fuels, or any other GHG-intensive sector of the economy.

Table 2. Qualitative summary of potential GHG reduction policies

Policy

Magnitude of Potential Emissions Reductions

Net Economy-Wide Financial Impact on Washington Consumers and Businesses

Opportunity to Increase in-state energy production and expenditures

Opportunity for new infra-structure and jobs in clean tech and energy efficiency

Cap and Trade

High

Uncertaina

Medium

Mediumb

Carbon Tax

High

Uncertaina

Medium

Mediumb

Low Carbon Fuel Standard

High

Negative

High

High

Zero Emissions Vehicle Mandate

Medium

Uncertain[1]

Medium

High

Renewable Fuel Standard

Medium

Uncertain[2]

Medium

Medium

Transportation Pricing – Mileage User Fee[3]

Low

Uncertain

Low

Low

Investment in Public Transit

Low

Uncertain[4]

Low

High

Public Benefit Fund

Medium

Positive

High

High

Property Assessed Clean Energy

Low

Positive

High

High

Marine Fuel Conservation

Low

Positive

Medium

Medium

Feed-in-Tariff

Low

Negative

High

Medium

Offshore Wind and Ocean Power

Medium

Uncertain

High

High

Landfill Methane Capture

Low

Negative

Medium

Low

a The financial impact to consumers and businesses is dependent on how the revenues were used, and highly dependent upon revenue utilization

b RGGI program has demonstrated real result by applying revenues to enhance opportunity for new jobs and infrastructure in clean tech and efficiency

CLEW Task 2 Final – Outside WA Policies


[1] ZEV requires significant state and individual investment. However, ZEVs provide a payback to consumers over time based on cheaper per-mile equivalent price of electricity relative to gasoline.

[2] Recent State data show that biodiesel unit cost is less than conventional diesel, however there are implementation costs and potential availability issues may have cost implications.

[3] GHG and economic impacts of MBUF policy greatly depend on design and implementation as a GHG strategy. It would presumably create the much needed revenue for transportation infrastructure as a gas-tax replacement.

[4] Major investments would increase service and lower fares, which would have a positive impact on riders; however increased subsidies would likely require raising taxes, which would negatively impact tax payers.



[1] Washington’s 2008 Climate Action Team

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