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Carbon Tracking Declines Among Energy Firms, Survey Finds

A surprising 68 percent of energy and utility industry professionals say they have no system in place to track and report on carbon emissions, up from 58 percent last year, according to a survey by Enviance.

And despite their lack of tracking system, more than three-fifths of the 237 professionals surveyed at the EUEC energy, utility and environmental conference told the environmental software company that they believe the imposition of a carbon tax will affect their business.

Enviance CEO Lawrence Goldenhersh said industry appears to understand the bellwether role that California has often played in environmental regulation, and is taking the state’s implementation of a cap and trade system as a sign that wider carbon pricing is on the horizon. He said carbon costs will likely be imposed to time with the end of the recession.

The California program sets limits on carbon emissions starting this year, with enforcement starting in 2013. Recently, Thomson Reuters Point Carbon reported that carbon trading in North America is poised to double this year with the inauguration of California market as well as one in Quebec.

In the Enviance poll, 48 percent of respondents said that water management is a concern for their organization, but about 40 percent said that they don’t measure or report on water. Only 12 percent said that carbon is a higher priority than water management.

And the survey found that 81 percent of respondents monitor changing EPA regulations as they happen, down slightly from 84 percent last year. Another nine percent said they monitor EPA regulations “when we have to,” up slightly from 7 percent in 2011. Enviance said the relative consistency indicates that corporate EH&S teams are taking a proactive approach to their environmental compliance responsibilities.

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