Cap and Trade version 2.0?

Posted on February 28, 2010

Even though it’s been widely reported that the original cap and trade legislation will not be seeing the light of day in 2010, it seems that three senators don’t want to give up the ghost of carbon caps so quickly.  From the AP via

Three key senators are writing a new climate bill without a broad “cap-and-trade” approach to reducing carbon pollution, leaving behind what has been the central feature in the debate over climate legislation for years, The Washington Post reported Friday night.

Cap and trade, in which overall pollution reduction targets are met by allowing facilities to buy and sell pollution credits, has become so politically unpopular that its Senate passage is viewed as unlikely.

So Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., are planning an alternative to be introduced next month, the Post reported on its Web site. The bill would apply different carbon controls to different sectors of the economy instead of taking a national approach.

The bill would cap the emissions by transportation, electric utilities, and “industry,” using a variety of time frames and ways:

Utilities would have to meet an overall emissions cap that would grow stricter over time. A carbon tax could be levied on motor fuel. And industrial facilities would be exempted from an emissions cap for several years, before it would be phased in.

Even if this approach to slowly phase in carbon caps and institute new taxes is more palatable to those voting on it, to the consumer it means the same thing as the original cap and trade legislation. You will be paying more for any service or goods provided by these sectors.

Posted in: Congress, Energy