Another Step Towards a Carbon Cap?

Two weeks ago, a bipartisan global warming bill was roundly criticized for making it too easy for industries to keep creating carbon pollution.

This week, another bipartisan effort was announced, and it’s garnering relatively more praise.

Allies of polluters often try to limit costs by creating loopholes, or “safety valves,” which allow for more pollution.

But this new proposal — from Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., Mary Landrieu, D-La., Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark. and John Warner, R-Va. — tries to limit economic hardships without sacrificing the critical environmental goals.

Climate Progress’ Joseph Romm calls it “banking and borrowing”:

With “banking,” the right to emit carbon can be saved for future use. With “borrowing,” current emissions are extended against future abatement.

Gristmill’s David Roberts concludes:

The measure is responsive to legitimate cost concerns without opening the door to gaming or weakening of long-term environmental goals. If this is what it takes to get a majority of stakeholders on board with a cap-and-trade program, it’s worth celebrating.

Now the key is getting a cap-and-trade program with appropriately ambitious targets.


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