Cap & Trade: Dead or Alive?

Reports out of Washington indicate three key senators—John Kerry, Joe Lieberman and Lindsey Graham—are actively engaged in an overhaul of climate change legislation.  And while Senator Graham has been quoted as saying that cap and trade is dead, other reports indicate the new plan won’t abandon that concept entirely.

A bill may be introduced as early as next week that will initially cover only the electric power sector. However, Reuters quotes a Senate aide as saying the public details of the plan are still “weeks away.”

Lieberman said he aims for a floor vote in late spring, after consideration of health care and financial reform. Other members of the Senate say a climate bill is not likely this year.

The bill is expected to include a tax on the carbon content of fuels, which would remove the transportation sector from proposed cap-and-trade provisions, according to the Bureau of National Affairs. The bill will likely include mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

“There’s got to be a cap because it’s all about reducing carbon emissions,” Lieberman said.

On the other side of D.C., Energy Secretary Steven Chu maintains that cap-and-trade is still alive. “It is not dead. We need a comprehensive bill. We would very much want and need it this year,” Chu told Bloomberg TV.

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