A “Tragedy” for Cap and Trade

I wanted to share this video from the Newshour on the death of the cap & trade bill in Congress, What Happened to Democrats’ Energy, Climate Change Legislation Plans?.

When the Democrats took control of Congress and the Presidency, many people thought that a compromise “cap & trade” bill (see “How Carbon Trading Works”) would be ensured. This compromise sets up a trading market
that allowed companies to pollute, but limited carbon emissions. A nice compromise. The story of the cap & trade bill is what Eric Pooley calls a “tragedy.” The House passed the bill, but the Senate killed it. Twelve Democrats backed out. No Republicans would support it out of fear of looking like they may compromise. Thus, the Senate could not reach the required 60 votes to pass the bill. There was a chance to set up a system only for utilities, but that chance has passed by. Now, it may take many years before the opportunity to pass legislation comes around again. Both sides of the political spectrum are at fault. Now, the battle over emissions will shift. The EPA is moving to regulate emissions under the Clean Air Act, but some leaders are talking about stripping them of this authority. Now, the pro-environment interests will be arguing with the anti-environment lobbyists over the authority of the EPA. The EPA may look at power plants at a case-by-case approach, which will end up in the courts. It’s about to get ugly.

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