Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Polluting Firms Will Be Charged In the US

In an attempt to curb the harmful effects of climate change, the San Francisco Bay Area passed a new rule that will require business organizations to pay a fee on the basis of the amount of carbon dioxide they emit. Under this new rule, big greenhouse gas emitters will have to pay over 50,000 dollars every year, otherwise less than 1 dollar will be charged to most firms. Due to this rule more than 2500 business organizations got affected. While some experts believe that this move will act as an effective model for all states in the US, others are of view that it might pose hindrance in exercising tougher emission targets across California.

This rule has been considered first of its kind in the United States. Voted in by the Bay Area Air Quality Management District of San Francisco, this fee covers nine counties and 2500 small as well as large businesses. Companies measure and report emission levels before they are charged 4.4 cents for each ton of CO2 released by them. Oil refineries and power plants in San Francisco will be the biggest payers as they are the largest emitter of greenhouse gases across the world.

Recently, a fees was attached to greenhouse gas emission by the State of California and by the end of this year, the state will also start charging companies for greenhouse gas emission. The main objective of imposing this fee is to help the state pay for its regulatory expenses that come along with the greenhouse gas reduction goals announced recently. Approximately 400 companies producing, refining, using or distributing coal, natural gas, electricity and oil will be affected by this fee. A plan has been proposed to bring down the rate of emission 25% by the end of 2020. If implemented in a proper manner, this new rule will help the state of California raise over 63 million dollars in the first year. The companies that have been targeted under this new rule represent more than 85% of greenhouse gas emissions in California.

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