• Plan would combine two existing markets for pollution permits
  • `This will drive a broader conversation in every state.'

New York State is reaching out to neighboring states as well as California, Quebec and Ontario to discuss a carbon-trading market that would span North America, Governor Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.

Combining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, used by nine Northeastern states, with the market used by California and the two Canadian provinces would accelerate efforts to reduce air pollution blamed for global warming, Cuomo said in a speech at Columbia University in New York City. New York also hopes to involve other states and provinces, he said.

The goal is “a broader North American market to collectively reduce emissions," Cuomo said. “Hopefully this will drive a broader conversation in every state in the nation."

The two markets place limits on total pollution and then require factories and other big emitters to buy and sell permits for each ton of greenhouse gas they release. That gives polluters a financial incentive to find the cheapest way to cut emissions.

Legislation to create a national pollution market, often called cap-and-trade, died in the U.S. Congress in 2010.

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