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Carbon Tariffs Show Up In Unlikely Places

The world's first carbon border tax is on the way—and, surprisingly, it doesn't involve imports from China:

To encourage the switch to clean renewable energy, Minnesota plans to add a carbon fee of between $4 and $34 per ton of carbon dioxide emissions to the cost of coal-fired electricity, to begin in 2012, to discourage the use of coal power, the greatest source of greenhouse gas emissions. ...

Most of North Dakota’s electricity exports is generated by coal-fired power plants. North Dakota officials argue that the move would place an unfair tax on electricity exports from the state and discourage its use by Minnesota utilities.

And that means… the world's very first green trade war. Officials in North Dakota have vowed to fight the move in court, arguing that the fee would "discourage coal-powered electricity sales in favor of renewably powered electricity." That's true, but it's not clear this is unfair to North Dakota, which, after all, has more wind resources than any state in the country.