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Volume 1, Pages 953-957
Research Article

To Trade or Not To Trade? Criteria for Applying Cap and Trade

United States Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, DC 20460, USA

Academic Editor: Joe Wisniewski

Copyright © 2001 Stephanie Benkovic and Joseph Kruger.


The use of emissions trading (cap and trade) is gaining worldwide recognition as an extremely effective policy tool. The U.S. Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Emissions Trading Program has achieved an unprecedented level of environmental protection in a cost-effective manner. The successful results of the program have led domestic and foreign governments to consider the application of cap and trade to address other air quality issues. Certain analyses are particularly important in determining whether or not cap and trade is an appropriate policy tool. This paper offers a set of questions that can be used as criteria for determining whether or not cap and trade is the preferred policy approach to an environmental problem.