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Tracing the Demise of Cap and Trade

Senator John Kerry’s partner in promoting global warming legislation, Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of SC, pronounced economy wide cap and trade dead last month and has since been working on trying to patch together a bill that satisfies the diverse economic, regional and ideological interests of the Senate.  That plan, still being written, will include a cap on greenhouse gas emissions only for utilities, at least at first, with other industries phased in perhaps years later. It is also said to include a modest tax on gasoline, diesel fuel and aviation fuel, accompanied by new incentives for oil and gas drilling, nuclear power plant construction, carbon capture and storage, and renewable energy sources like wind and solar. Why did cap and trade die?  The short answer is that it was done in by the weak economy, the Wall Street meltdown, determined industry opposition and its own complexity. Opponents of this bill say it is potentially a $3 trillion tax, which is pretty steep in the best of times, and poison in the worst of times.  3/26 NY Times