Cap-and-Trade Gets 'Radical' Overhaul in Senate

Kerry, Lieberman, and Graham are crafting an alternative
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 27, 2010 11:00 AM CST
Cap-and-Trade Gets 'Radical' Overhaul in Senate
A flock of geese fly past a smokestack at the Jeffery Energy Center coal power plant near Emmitt, Kan. Saturday, Jan. 10, 2009.   (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

So long, cap-and-trade. The idea is all but dead in the Senate, with Joe Lieberman, John Kerry, and Lindsey Graham working on what the Washington Post calls a "radical, behind-the-scenes overhaul" of the bill to curb greenhouse gases. It's expected to be unveiled next month. Though cap-and-trade has passed the House and been the main legislative approach for a decade, it simply has too many political and corporate opponents to survive in the Senate, write Juliet Eilperin and Steven Mufson.

"This is a different bill," says Lieberman. "We haven't abandoned the market-based idea, but we're willing to negotiate with colleagues who have different ideas." The details are murky, but in broad strokes it deals separately with electric utilities, transportation, and industrial facilities. One specific example: Motor fuel might see a carbon tax that would be used toward the push for electric cars. The bill also might resurrect the idea of cap-and-dividend, in which some of the money raised goes directly back to consumers. (Read more cap and trade stories.)

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