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Buying Allowances

Allowance Trading

Under both the Acid Rain Program and the Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR), anyone can purchase allowances, including both regulated companies and members of the general public. Some individuals and groups purchase allowances as an environmental statement, because withholding allowances from the market prevents those allowances from being used by regulated sources to cover emissions.

EPA itself does not sell allowances; our job is to track allowance holdings and record transactions.
The specific procedures for each program are explained below:

Acid Rain Program: SO2 Allowances

In addition to buying allowances directly from a company or individual who holds them, you can buy allowances in three ways:

  1. Through EPA's annual auction
  2. Through a broker
  3. Through environmental groups that "retire" allowances so they can't be used to cover emissions.

Keeping an allowance off the market achieves the same environmental effect whether you buy the allowance through the EPA Auction, a broker, or an environmental group.

Clean Air Interstate Rule (CAIR): Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Allowances

The easiest way to buy and sell NOx allowances is to work through a broker. As in the Acid Rain Program, brokers connect buyers and sellers.

Unlike the Acid Rain Program, the CAIR does not hold an annual auction. The only environmental organization we are aware of that will retire NOx allowances is the Clean Air Conservancy.Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer See the environmental groups for disclaimer and contact information. If you are aware of other such organizations, please let us know.

Brokers


One option for buying allowances is through an allowance broker. Brokers bring together parties that have allowances to buy and sell. Brokers are more appropriate for higher-volume allowance transactions. The following list represents the brokers and traders that we know about. The list is based on publicly available information and may not be complete. Mention of trade names or commercial entities does not constitute endorsement or recommendation for use. If you're a broker or trader and would like to be added to the list, please let us know.

Contact Information for Obtaining SO2 and NOx Allowances

Link to EPA's External Link DisclaimerAll of the links below take you out of EPA's Web site, so we can't guarantee the accuracy of the information they present.

Name Phone Web site

Air & Liquid Advisors

713-225-6600

www.aladvisors.net

Amerex Energy

281-340-5200

www.amerexenergy.com/na_EnvironmentalCommodities.html

Cantor Fitzgerald Environmental

212-829-5460

www.emissionstrading.com

Chicago Climate Futures Exchange

312-229-5135

www.theccfe.com

Conservation Services Group

508-836-9500

www.csgrp.com

Element Markets LLC

281-207-7200

www.elementmarkets.com

Evolution Markets

212-430-6475

www.evomarkets.com

GFI Group, Inc.

212-968-6937

www.gfigroup.com

Natsource

212-232-5305

www.natsource.com

New York Mercantile Exchange

212-299-2301

www.nymex.com

Polaris Markets LLC

316-775-1900

www.polarismarkets.com

Spectron Energy

360-892-3300

www.spectrongroup.com

TFS Energy

212-943-2883

www.tfsbrokers.com

United Power, a Division of ICAP United, Inc.

281-340-8300

www.unitedpwr.com

Environmental Groups

Environmentally focused allowance buyers may be interested in contacting an organization that specifically acquires and retires allowances, preventing them from being used to cover SO2 emissions. For example, the Clean Air Conservancy Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimer will purchase allowances for you and provide you with a "Clean Air Certificate" documenting the amount of pollution your contribution has prevented. The certificates may also be purchased as a gift for someone else. The Acid Rain Retirement Fund Link to EPA's External Link Disclaimeraccepts donations and educates kids about acid rain. See the list below for additional contact information.

The following organizations state that they retire allowances, meaning that they acquire allowances that will never be used to allow emissions. EPA does not review their operations; we recommend that you research any organization before using its services.

Link to EPA's External Link DisclaimerAll of the links below take you out of EPA's Web site, so we can't guarantee the accuracy of the information they present.

Name Contact Phone Web site

Clean Air Conservancy Trust

Michael Short

216-522-8700

www.cleanairconservancy.org

Acid Rain Retirement Fund

Michael S. Hamilton

207-780-4190

http://www.acidrainretirementfund.org/

Adirondack Council

Scott Lorey

800-842-7275

www.adirondackcouncil.org

Environmental Resources Trust

Michael Gillenwater

202 785 8577

www.ert.net

 


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