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California’s cap-and-trade program pays loggers clearcut old-growth forests

Source:  Copyright 2014, Grist
Date:  April 3, 2014
Original URL: Status ONLINE

Timber industry lobbyists clinched a nice little victory in Sacramento four years ago, and now forests and the climate are paying the price.

Under California’s cap-and-trade program, which began in late 2012, timber companies can earn carbon credits by felling forests and chopping down old-growth trees — and then replanting the razed earth with younger trees. Which they will eventually chop down, again, after they have grown. The idea was that the younger trees would suck up a lot of carbon dioxide as they grew. But that flies in the face of scientific findings, published earlier this year in the journal Nature, that older trees are far better than their younger cousins at sucking carbon out of the sky.

A coalition of environmental groups sent a letter on Tuesday to the California Air Resources Board and Climate Action Reserve, the state’s carbon-offset registry, urging them to reconsider the wrongheaded rules:

Ignoring objections and calls from ...

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