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Senators to Propose Abandoning Cap-And-Trade

Three key senators are engaged in a radical behind-the-scenes overhaul of climate legislation, preparing to jettison the broad "cap-and-trade" approach that has defined the legislative debate for close to a decade. The sharp change of direction demonstrates the extent to which the cap-and-trade strategy -- allowing facilities to buy and sell pollution credits in order to meet a national limit on greenhouse gas emissions -- has become political poison. In a private meeting with several environmental leaders on Wednesday, according to participants, Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), declared, "Cap-and-trade is dead." Graham and Sens. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) have worked for months to develop an alternative to cap-and-trade, which the House approved eight months ago. They plan to introduce legislation next month that would apply different carbon controls to individual sectors of the economy instead of setting a national target. The lawmakers are looking at cutting the nation's greenhouse gas output by targeting, in separate ways, three major sources of emissions: electric utilities, transportation and industry. 2/27 Washington Post