(the story is a bit dated, 9/6/07)
Companies that emit greenhouse gases, listen up. While policymakers won't say if or when a tax on carbon emissions might take effect, the market has a date in mind: 2012.
In April, forward prices for electricity in that year spiked by about $10, or 21%, according to an analysis by NRG Energy (nyse: NRG). By contrast, forward prices for 2008 remained relatively constant during the same period. Prices for 2010 rose about $5."[The] market suddenly one day concluded that there will be a $10 carbon tax, and it's going to come in 2012, not before that," NRG Chief Executive David Crane said in a recent interview. "There's no other explanation for it, because the power market for 2012 is totally illiquid right now." NRG uses the term "tax" liberally--its analysis shows an expected price to be slapped on carbon emissions....MORE