'Green Elephant' Graham: Cap-and-Trade is Dead
A Democrat, a Republican, and an Independent walk into a bar--and immediately lower it. Or is this just our democracy at work? Whatever your opinion, we're likely to all be surprised (and upset) by whatever comes out of the compromise energy bill now being written by Senators John Kerry, Lindsey Graham, and Joe Lieberman.
In an apparent effort to gain control of the Congress' stalled green agenda, Senator Graham recently declared that "the cap-and-trade bills in the House and Senate are dead" and that the "concept of cap-and-trade is going to be replaced". In other words, he is saying that the specific plan to create a carbon emissions "market" where companies buy and sell carbon credits will be replaced with another yet-to-be-determined approach. Graham did however make clear that the approach he favors still includes some cost for carbon emissions--a "Carbon Tax."
Democrat Kerry says the details are a secret until the bill is ready for consideration by Congress.
"I'm saying what we do may be economy-wide," Kerry said. "But we're not going to do it in the same way everybody has talked about doing it."
Although it's entertaining to see Senator Kerry exercising his rhetorical muscle and political skill to confuse and bewilder us, we are still left without any details about the progress of the secret negotiations. Speculation about the bill's carbon emissions "stick," to use Graham's word, include a carbon fuel surtax, and a surtax on utilities for carbon-intensive generation of electricity--a boon to the recently resuscitated nuclear energy business. And we are cautiously hopeful that all parties are now getting serious about reducing the US dependence on foreign oil.