Sen. Barbara Boxer, chair of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, announced earlier this month that she hopes to have a cap-and-trade bill blessed by her committee by the end of the year. Her announcement left room for criticism.
These will be a hard sell. A climate bill truly guided by science, for example, would cause U.S. greenhouse gas emissions to peack and begin a rapid decline by 2015. That would require a radical turnaround by our economy.
All the vested interests that will be affected by carbon pricing, including big emitters and fossil energy producers, will define a transparent and accountable trading system as one that includes more protections for them than for the atmosphere. The tendency will be to fill the bill with off-ramps, price caps and giveaways that make the trading system neither transparent nor accountable.
Hope and Glory – The Politics of Survival on a Small Blue Planet