Should Congress price greenhouse gas emissions differently for different parts of the economy?
Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joe Lieberman, I/D-Conn., are working on climate change legislation that would create different pricing mechanisms for various industrial sectors, particularly electric utilities, manufacturing plants and vehicles. They might incorporate a bill co-sponsored by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, that would send most of the revenue generated from a limited cap-and-trade system back to consumers to offset higher energy prices.
Would this method be fairer, simpler, or more politically viable than an economy-wide cap-and-trade system? Could this approach attract more support from Republicans and moderate Democrats? Could it cut emissions as much as President Obama wants? Should the Senate trio consider incorporating provisions of the Cantwell-Collins bill?