Climate Change and You
A company is now providing each of us with an opportunity to do something in response to the carbon dioxide emissions that are contributing toward climate change. TerraPass
is selling emission credits that you can purchase for your personal vehicle. The funds generated by the sale of TerraPasses are used to finance projects that reduce industrial carbon emissions.
The TerraPass is a form of emissions trading. Since the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, industrial emitters have been able to take advantage of emissions trading. Free market advocates have long promoted emissions trading as a market-based alternatively to further regulations. I look forward to seeing the TerraPasses on their cars.
Their web site includes a handy carbon calculator
that you can use to calculate the annual carbon emissions from your vehicle. My car, a 1997 Volvo 850 wagon that I drive ~12,000 miles annually, emits ~9,586 pounds of carbon dioxide each year. This puts me in line for a Standard TerraPass at $49.95. If I drove my car less than 10,000 miles annually, I could have qualified for an Efficient TerraPass at $39.95. Alternatively, if I didn't live in the Central City and if I had a longer commute or drove my car for work so that I drove 20,000 miles annually, I would need to buy a Utility/Performance TerraPass at $79.95.
On the other ends of the scale, if I drove a Hummer that emitted 18,058 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, I would need a Utility/Performance TerraPass. Alternatively, if I drove a Prius that emitted 4,226 pounds of carbon dioxide per year, I would qualify for a Hybrid TerraPass at $29.95.
The TerraPass also gives Austinites another tool for addressing air emissions. While the City of Austin is already doing a good deal to promote air quality
, the TerraPass provides each of us with means of mitigating the impact of carbon dioxide emissions.