As climate and energy legislation continues to founder in Washington, Senator Maria Cantwell says it’s time for a new strategy. In an interview with Yale Environment 360, Cantwell explains why her bill can avoid the pitfalls of cap-and-trade and win the support of the public.
Is carbon cap-and-trade legislation alive or dead in the U.S. Congress? Does the energy bill being proposed by senators John Kerry, Joseph Lieberman, and Lindsey Graham — or for that matter any climate and energy legislation — stand a chance of passing the U.S. Senate before this November’s midterm elections?
No one seems to be able to answer these questions at this point. In the meantime, the Carbon Limits and Energy for America’s Renewal Act, or CLEAR — sponsored by Senator Maria Cantwell, Democrat of Washington, and Susan Collins, Republican of Maine — has been getting a surprising amount of attention. Instead of a cap-and-trade system, the bill would institute what its sponsors call “cap-and-refund.” Under the bill, the president would, beginning in 2012, set an overall cap on fossil-fuel emissions.