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Energy Credits Prove Inflated With Green Claims Seen as Hot Air

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Along the steel-gray Quinebaug River in eastern Connecticut, Duncan Broatch is tinkering with machinery that will keep one of his two hydroelectric plants cranking out clean energy. The U.S. needs Broatch’s Summit Hydropower Inc. and other green power providers to make a dent in the 35 percent of the country’s global-warming pollution that comes from burning fossil fuels to make electricity.

Broatch was hoping to build more hydro plants. He planned to get the money partly from selling renewable energy credits, widely used tools championed by businesses, conservationists and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.