Cap and Trade Dead?

MacIver News Service –

As reported earlier, the Wisconsin Global Warming Bill, dubbed the Clean Energy Jobs Act by its supporters, assumes that the price of carbon-based energy will increase due to the establishment of a ‘cap and trade’ system for carbon emissions. Our February 5th report included warnings, however, that a federal ‘cap and trade’ system was not certain to come about.

The Washington Post reports this morning:

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.”

Even if Cap and Trade were to die, however, the cost of carbon-based fuels could still increase due to other federal regulatory action. While the Wisconsin bill assumes a future cost at $20/ton and rises slowly with inflation, there are no firm numbers yet as Washington has not passed new federal regulations and the prospects for such action are unknown.

MacIver News Service will report on the impact Washington’s actions may have on the pending Wisconsin legislation in the days ahead.