Klein: Cap-and-Trade Is Dead
The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein writes today that an energy bill with a cap on carbon emissions, even a scaled-down cap on the power sector, is dead.
Klein argues that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s (D-Nev.) refusal last week to use the words cap-and-trade — or, for that matter, greenhouse gas emissions — in describing a provision he is planning to include in his energy bill indicates that such a proposal is too unpopular to pass.
According to Klein:
If cap-and-trade is so unpopular that its primary legislative advocates can’t mention it, then it’s dead. The BP oil spill offered a chance to change the fundamentals on the issue and Democrats decided against trying to use the disaster as a galvanizing moment for climate legislation. Word games don’t offer a similar opportunity.
While Klein may be right that cap-and-trade is dead (sources told me as much last week), it’s important to note that many Senate Democrats and many in the White House have avoided using the term cap-and-trade for months, afraid that the phrase is too wonky to sell to the American people.