The Washington Independent
The Washington Independent

How Worthwhile Is a Utilities-Only Emissions Cap?

June 21, 2010 | Last updated: July 31, 2020

With the odds of an economy-wide cap on carbon emissions fast approaching zero, the White House is speaking favorably about a cap on just the utility sector as part of an energy bill. So how effective would a utilities-only cap be?

Dave Roberts at Grist has a smart assessment. The crux?

The question may no longer be whether a comprehensive bill is preferable to a utility-only bill, but whether a utility-only bill is preferable to the energy-only bill the Senate seems bent on passing. Judged against that somewhat pathetic baseline, it is, in fact, preferable.

He includes these handy charts that show that if you’ve got to target just one sector, electric utilities are clearly the way to go:

chart1 480x477

chart2 480x351

His whole analysis is worth a read.

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