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Slow Start for Plan by Eastern States to Cap Tailpipe Emissions

“Connecticut, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Washington, D.C., all announced they would join a cap-and-trade program for cars and trucks. But many bigger states have yet to join.”

“WASHINGTON — An ambitious plan by Eastern states for a regional cap-and-trade program to curb greenhouse gas emissions from cars and trucks got off to a slow start Monday after just three states — Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island — plus Washington, D.C., formally agreed to adopt it.

The program’s backers had originally aimed for broader participation and expressed hope that more states might join later. Last year, 11 Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic States, making up a fifth of the United States population, signed on to a draft version of the plan, which would set a cap, to be lowered over time, on the total amount of carbon dioxide that can be released from vehicles that use gasoline or diesel for fuel.

But so far, only a few states have said they would begin implementing the policy. In a separate statement on Monday, eight other states left open the possibility of joining at a future date, but would not commit for now. Those states include Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont and Virginia.”

Brad Plumer reports for the New York Times December 21, 2020.