Arkansas Among Ten States Seeking Federal Guidelines on Carbon

MONTPELIER, VT - Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell and his counterparts in nine other states, including Arkansas, have asked the Federal Trade Commission to develop guidelines for businesses that sell carbon offset credits.

The request by Sorrell and his counterparts in Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Oklahoma was announced yesterday at Montpelier, Vermont, by Sorrell.  He said the inherently intangible nature of carbon offsets and the lack of standards and definitions among those selling them make it hard for consumers to know whether they got what they paid for.

The attorneys general said in a seven-page letter dated yesterday that the market for carbon offsets has ballooned into a $100 million a year business, but it needs regulation by the federal government.

Carbon offset is the term applied to credits bought by people and companies to offset their contributions to global climate change by supporting environmental projects that CO-2 elsewhere in the environment.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)