Idaho has no coal-fired power plants, notorious spewers of the toxic element mercury (which is a natural “contaminant” of coal). The emissions cap and trade program is a pollution control method designed for states with sources of atmospheric mercury (mostly coal plants). If Idaho were to opt into the program, that is basically saying “build coal plants in Idaho.”
One might ask, why shouldn’t Idaho help bear the burden of mercury emissions? The primary reason is that Idaho is already suffering greatly from mercury blowing north from the Canadian owned gold pits in Nevada, which in total produce mercury emissions equivalent to scores of coal plants, according to some estimates.
Story in the Magic Valley Times News. By Nate Poppino