Jason Barton

Professional Information and Energy News

Archive for the ‘Cap and Trade’ tag

Cap-and-trade’s last hurrah

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The decline of a once wildly popular idea

Mar 18th 2010 | From The Economist print edition

Gaia lent an unhelpful hand

IN THE 1990s cap-and-trade—the idea of reducing carbon-dioxide emissions by auctioning off a set number of pollution permits, which could then be traded in a market—was the darling of the green policy circuit. A similar approach to sulphur dioxide emissions, introduced under the 1990 Clean Air Act, was credited with having helped solve acid-rain problems quickly and cheaply. And its great advantage was that it hardly looked like a tax at all, though it would bring in a lot of money.


Energy bills have in the past garnered bipartisan support, and this one also needs to. That is why Senator Graham matters. He could bring on board both Democrats and Republicans. Mr Graham’s contribution has been to focus the rhetoric not just on near-term jobs, but also on longer-term competitiveness. Every day America does not have climate legislation, he argues, is a day that China’s grip on the global green economy gets tighter.

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Obama Says Senate May Drop Cap and Trade, Pass Energy-Only Bill

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I hear more and more that this is the most likely scenario. Though at a recent townhall-style meeting, Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO) claimed that this fight was far from over and that he is optimistic about the chances for a cap and trade bill. Even if this bill passes, I don’t see it taking effect for several years, so if one is looking for change in energy markets, it won’t likely come from Cap and Trade for several years. The mere belief that this may happen, combined with public perceptions and pressure from consumers and shareholders are already causing considerable movement, as has been well documented on this site, towards renewable and low-carbon energy resources.

Published: February 3, 2010

President Obama acknowledged yesterday that the Senate may pass an energy bill this year without the cap-and-trade component he has long put at the center of his environmental agenda.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Nashua, N.H., Obama repeated his call for a price on greenhouse gas emissions but said he recognized that such an approach may not have the votes to make it into law.

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