Cap-and-trade declared dead--again
By Juliet Eilperin
While Washington Post readers learned Saturday that Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) declared "Cap-and-trade is dead," the senator decided to repeat that message Tuesday.
Reuters reported this afternoon that Graham announced that an economy-wide cap and trade system for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, "I think is dead."
"The cap and trade bills in the House and Senate are dead. The concept of cap and trade is going to be replaced," Graham added.
Here at Post Carbon, we've moved past that. We're looking at whether a cap-and-dividend plan can fly, in which the federal government limits emission but returns most of the money it gets from auctioning pollution allowances back to taxpayers.
At a breakfast Tuesday morning sponsored by Kathy Kemper's Institute for Education, Energy Department deputy secretary Daniel Poneman told the audience the Obama administration was open to such a move.
"The president's been very clear: we're looking to put some sort of price on carbon," Poneman said. "That's the central issue."
In the end, the question of 60 votes for a carbon cap is more important to the administration than a carbon market. Poneman did signal that the administration is still looking to ease the economic pinch of higher energy prices, though.
"We'll look at how to make that transition less onerous for people who would be disproportionately affected by that transition," he said.
Juliet Eilperin| March 2, 2010; 3:33 PM ET Save & Share:
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