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Equity Firm Restores Louisiana Marshland to Earn Credits It Can Sell.
July 13, 2014 12:31 AM

From the NY Times comes a fascinating story where capitalism meets environmental do-gooder:

The process of making money out of restoring wetlands is complex, but it comes down to straightforward market principles. A policy developed under the first President George Bush calls for "no net loss" of wetlands, so when developers and government agencies tackle projects that drain or fill wetlands, they need to offset the damage either by restoring an equivalent amount of wetlands or by buying the credits from the restoration work done by others.

Such mitigation banks have been allowed for two decades under provisions of the Clean Water Act, but private-sector work tends to be done on a small scale to offset the effect of a single project -- say, by placing a frog pond next to the new Walmart -- and it tends to be unconnected to any larger environmental purpose. This project is remarkable for its ambition and scope: The company has raised $181 million from investors for this and other projects, and has bought 16,500 acres of this swamp. It could spend, by some estimates, $30 million here.

This is a terrific story! Let's hope it catches on with finally taxing carbon and creating a properly regulated carbon-credit industry in this country.

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