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Separating carbon

Two non-profit organisations in the Northwest plan to buy green tags from an Oregon wind farm, separate the carbon dioxide attributes from other pollutants and make them completely unavailable to the pollution trading market. That will reduce the total amount of CO2 emissions allowable by industry, while the profits from the ten-year, $200,000 transaction will be used to develop more wind projects, the groups say. The complex transaction begins when Bonneville Power Administration, a federal agnecy, buys the output of SeaWest's proposed 50 MW Condon project in Washington, separates the power from the environmental attributes, then sells the resulting green tags to the Bonneville Environmental Foundation (BEF). In an innovative twist, BEF will separate CO2 from the green tag and sell the CO2 credits to Climate Trust, which will hold the offsets in trust, as will BEF with the remaining pollution offsets. They will never be sold to companies for use in meeting emissions caps, according to BEF. Oregon legislation requires new power plants to reduce atmospheric CO2 levels. They can offset carbon and other pollutants by funding Climate Trust to buy pollution credits. When CO2 is separated from other pollution attributes, Climate Trust can use the funding to offset CO2 emissions.

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