"In a little more than a year, a regional push to cap greenhouse gases has raised millions for Maryland energy programs, with supporters calling it a model for easing climate change on a national or even global scale.
Since September 2008, Maryland and nine other Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states have been participating in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. In its "cap and trade" regulatory scheme, emissions of carbon dioxide from power plants have been capped and plant operators are required to buy permits for all the gas that their facilities release into the atmosphere.
Similar programs, in which businesses buy and sell the rights to release greenhouse gases, are being considered for extension nationwide under legislation in Congress that passed the House last summer and is pending in the Senate. It's also on the table for international action at rancorous United Nations climate talks scheduled to conclude Friday in Copenhagen."