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Lessons Learned - The Acid Rain Program

Cap and Trade

Excerpt taken from "The U.S. Acid Rain Program: Key Insights from the Design, Operation, and Assessment of a Cap-and-Trade Program." (PDF) (12pp, 11.5 MB, About PDF) The Electricity Journal, Vol. 20 Issue 7, August-September 2007, pp. 47-58. 

The lessons from the ARP provide insight into how to effectively design and operate cap-and-trade programs. Key lessons from EPA’s experience can help policymakers in the U.S. and abroad as they consider the implementation of cap-and-trade programs. The key lessons from the ARP are:

With more than 15 years of experience, the Acid Rain Program clearly demonstrates that market-based cap-and-trade programs are an effective means of achieving broad improvements in air quality by reducing emissions of regionally transported air pollutants and encouraging efficient solutions. For regional or larger-scale air pollution problems, experience suggests that a well-designed cap-and-trade program can be cost-effective, flexible, and easy to implement, with clear benefits sustainable into the future.

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