A Free Market Cure For Global Warming

Trading emissions could cut the cost of cleaning up

Reid Smith took it as a personal challenge when BP-Amoco PLC CEO Sir John Browne ordered his giant corporation to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases, which contribute to global warming. A Houston-based environmental team leader in BP's Western Gas business unit, Smith quickly spotted an opportunity--the thousands of valves that shunt fluids from the company's network of wells. Each valve emitted small whiffs of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.

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