Senate plan would ditch cap-and-trade

Feb. 27, 2010 at 12:15 PM

WASHINGTON, Feb. 27 (UPI) -- A U.S. Senate plan to ditch the "cap-and-trade" approach to climate legislation may represent the best shot at passing a bill this year, the Sierra Club said.

"The Senate is understanding this is not a simple problem -- it's multiple problems, and it requires multiple solutions," Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club, told The Washington Post in a story published Saturday.

A plan developed by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joseph Lieberman, Ind-Conn., would apply different carbon controls to individual sectors of the economy instead of setting a national target.

The plan would kill the cap-and-trade approach in which facilities would buy and sell pollution credits to meet a national limit on gas emissions.

Graham, Kerry and Lieberman propose cutting greenhouse gasses by targeting electric utilities, transportation and industry, the Post reported.

Utility plants would face an emissions' cap that would become stricter over time. Motor fuel could be subject to a carbon tax whose proceeds could help boost the U.S. transportation sector. Industrial facilities could be exempted from a cap on emissions for several years and then a cap would be phased in, the Post said.

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