Monday, June 17, 2013

WQT on its tenth or eleventh life?

Don't look now, but WQT is generating some positive bi-partisan buzz on capital hill, with strange bedfellows Cardin (D-MD), Boozman (R-AR) and Vitter (R-LA) saying nice things about it.  The fact that this is essentially cap-and-trade for water pollution is conveniently elided by Vitter, who prefers to blame EPA for implementation problems so far.

It's an EENews report, which is behind a paywall, but Vitter says "This is a pretty new idea, you know, it could offer some potential and benefits," which (a) ignores the nearly 3-decade history of efforts toward the widespread adoption WQT, but (b) has got to feel good for the people at EPRI's Ohio River Basin pilot WQT program.

The obstacles remain, of course: measurement issues, problems defining the credit with scientific approval, problems transferring liability away from the permitee.  But for a policy which has been so long been the poor cousin of wetland banking and carbon trading, any high-level attention is notable.

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