Pelosi: “We will eventually have a cap-and-trade bill”

Speaker Nancy Pelosi updated reporters yesterday on the status of global warming legislation, after a Environment & Energy Daily (subscription required) has this dispatch:

Speaking to reporters after her speech, Pelosi said wants to see climate change and energy legislation sent to the floor by the July 4 recess. But she also acknowledged the summer package would not include a bill with mandatory limits on U.S. greenhouse gases.

“We may not have everything by the Fourth of July, but we’ll have a good deal of it,” she said. “We will eventually have a cap-and-trade bill.”

Asked to comment on Rep. Rick Boucher’s (D-Va.) recent announcement that he intends to move cap-and-trade legislation through his House Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee in the September-October timeframe, Pelosi replied, “That might be fine, because we never said we’d pass it on the Fourth of July. We said we’d introduce the bills and some of them would come in later.”

This is generally good.

As I’ve argued before, baby steps are fine in initial legislation, so long as it’s made clear that stronger legislation is still needed to solve the problem, and momentum for action isn’t dampened. Pelosi framed things in just that way.

But we still need to keep a close eye on whatever Boucher proposes, because not all caps are alike.

As noted here, Boucher hails from coal country, and coal executives are angling for a loophole-ridden cap that wouldn’t get the job done.

That wouldn’t be a baby step forward, but a major step backward.


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