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A Better Partnership


Jun 2007
June 12, 2007

Smaller Firms Wait on Carbon Offset Credit Market

When it comes to trading carbon offset and efficiency credits, there is no one-size-fits-all program.

"I would be surprised if you found small business currently involved in efficiency trading because there is no mandated market for it," said Steven Kohl, a Warner Norcross & Judd partner who practices in environmental law, with a particular emphasis on the Clean Air Act.

Kohl indicated that greenhouse gas regulation will eventually create the market for such trading, but currently there is no economic system that recognizes carbon costs in the United States.

He said that small businesses will feel the impact associated with global warming initially in the form of rising electrical costs, higher gas and diesel prices, rising costs of raw materials that generate a lot of carbon, etc. He does, however, foresee a time when small companies will have opportunities to generate offsets and sell to those who need credits.

While Europe and other regions have begun to implement the Kyoto Protocol, no such plans are being made in this country—although California and the northeastern states are working on implementing some regulations aimed at the utility industry.

"If the rest of the country follows suit, it could still be mid-decade before we start to see rules in place and the beginning of the creation of a market," Kohl said, adding that the EPA has yet to establish rules for some provisions of the Clean Air Act, which was passed in 1990.

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Warner Norcross & Judd LLP is one of the leading law firms in Michigan. With more than 180 attorneys in Grand Rapids, Metro Detroit, Holland and Muskegon, Warner Norcross is a full-service provider of legal services. Nearly half of our partners are listed in the 2007 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. Warner Norcross was also named the best corporate law firm in West Michigan by Corporate Board Member magazine for the third year in a row. Warner Norcross has been recognized as a national leader in client service among law firms by BTI Consulting, as one of the nation's leading employment law firms by Workforce Management and as one of West Michigan's 101 Best & Brightest Companies to Work For. The Firm represents local, statewide, regional, national and international clients in all areas of business and civil law. 

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