What are the alternatives to an economy-wide cap-and-trade system for controlling greenhouse gas emissions?
Has the drive for a cap-and-trade bill run out of steam? Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, for one, predicts that the Senate won't pass a cap-and-trade bill this year. If so, what are other options? Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, proposed a cap-and-dividend system, which would cap carbon emissions at the source, such as oil or coal producers or importers, rather than regulating power companies or manufacturers. Other senators have suggested setting up a utility-only cap-and-trade program to control greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. Furthermore, some experts are speculating that a carbon tax would be more likely to be approved by Congress.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives? Is any effort to put a price on carbon doomed to fail this year?