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|Wednesday, April 17, 2013|
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
The Pinchot Institute for Conservation and PacificSource Health Plans have partnered to provide a first of its kind "ATreeM" card that uses proceeds from American Carbon Registry-certified carbon credits to provide health care funds to family forest owners.
According to Pinchot's Alex Andrus, the Oregon pilot project, three years in the making, grew out of a survey showing that health care costs were one of the main reasons family forest owners sold off land to be subdivided for development purposes. The partnership also aims to grow the fledgling U.S. market for carbon credits, which companies and investors purchase to offset pollution emissions.
So far, most entities interested in purchasing carbon credits invest in emissions reductions projects in developing countries, not the United States.
Enter the Forest Health-Human Health Initiative, in which investors purchase American Carbon Registry-certified carbon credits, with the proceeds returned to landowners in the form of cash deposits to their PacificSource ATreeMT card. By converting carbon credits into health care dollars, so the logic goes, family forest owners will keep the land as forest, offsetting greenhouse gas emissions generated by development.
"The initiative adds value at every point in the chain," says Andrus.
Unlike other health care debit cards, the ATreeMT does not require participation in any health insurance policy, participation in any employer-provided health insurance plan, as is the case in health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). The card also limits debits to only health care expenses such as prescription purchases, wellness care, dental care, co-pays, and insurance deductibles.
In the absence of mandatory limits on carbon, the U.S. carbon market has struggled for years. California instituted a cap and trade program this year, and Oregon legislators are now debating a carbon tax. At the same time, the state is pushing forward with pioneering programs programs to reduce health care costs.
To be sure, the Pinchot/PacificSource partnership is one very small solution to two very big problems.
The innovators are undeterred.
"As of today, we are officially ready to talk to investors and make transactions," Andrus says.
OB Editor Linda Baker keeps tabs on CEO and public policy issues, with frequent forays into innovation, entrepreneurship, and bikes.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
BY ERIC FRUTS | OB BLOGGER
Last year, the housing market in Oregon—and the U.S. as a whole—was blasting off. The Case-Shiller index of home prices ended the year 13% higher than at the beginning of the year. But, was last year a blip, or a trend?
Thursday, May 29, 2014
BY LEE VAN DER VOO
A forest collaboration saves the Rough & Ready Lumber Company.
Tuesday, June 03, 2014
Citing the transition to catch shares management as a key to rebuilding stocks and reducing bycatch, 13 species caught by the West Coast trawl fishery today earned designation from the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) as sustainable.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
BY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR
Remember the naysayers? Those who called the South Waterfront aerial tram a boondoggle? Those who rejoiced at the massive sell off of luxury condos at the John Ross and Atwater Place?
Monday, July 07, 2014
BY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER
Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.
Friday, June 13, 2014
BY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST BLOGGER
This article summarizes the key considerations a building owner must keep in mind when thinking about leasing to a medical marijuana dispensary.
Monday, June 30, 2014
Oregon Business magazine won two silver awards for excellence in writing in the National American Society of Business Publication Editors Western region competition.
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