Profits in pollution

Wednesday, August 21, 1991

Profits in pollution

Pork bellies, soybeans, wheat futures — and now sulphur dioxide allowances. The Chicago Board of Trade voted on July 16 to add sulphur dioxide emission allowances to the list of commodities in which it trades.

Under 1990 amendments to the US Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency allocates to power companies the right to emit limited quantities of sulphur dioxide, which causes acid rain. Companies which emit less than their allowance can sell their unused right to pollute.

According to Public Power Weekly, at least one company, Wisconsin Power and Light, is already actively trying to sell its unused It reduced its sulphur dioxide output below the permitted level by switching to a cleaner type of coal.

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