Groups Charge Emissions Trading Not Working

RECLAIM program seen as opportunity for firms to "cook the books."

Published: 13-Mar-2002

LOS ANGELES, California, March 12, 2002 (ENS) - Two community groups in California have sued nine Los Angeles companies for emitting more than 700,000 pounds of nitrogen oxides (NOx) without purchasing sufficient pollution credits.

Our Children's Earth (OCE) Foundation and Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) filed the lawsuits in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles, alleging that the companies emitted excess NOx by failing to comply with federally approved Regional Clean Air Incentive Market (RECLAIM) rules. OCE and CBE reported these violations to the South Coast and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and went forward with the suits after those agencies failed to act.

"These types of market based credit trading programs are being touted as the silver bullet for reducing air pollution by the George W. Bush administration. In truth, programs with gaps like these allow an irresistible opportunity for everyone to cook the books," said Tiffany Schauer, OCE executive director. "Who's watching the store? When the only people interested in accountability are environmental watch dogs, it means the system is broken and needs repair."

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