E&E News: Cap and trade dead next session - Reid
November 16, 2010
Posted by Matt Dempsey Matt_Dempsey@epw.senate.gov
In the News...
Cap and trade dead next session -- Reid
Patrick Reis and Elana Schor, E&E reporters
There will be no cap-and-trade climate bill considered in the next Congress, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) promised a colleague today.
Newly sworn-in Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said today that Reid made a "total commitment" to him that there would be no cap and trade next session.
Reid's office confirmed the promise. "Given the election results, there is no chance we can deal with cap and trade," Reid spokesman Jim Manley told E&ENews PM.
Whether Reid pushed the measure or not, it was unlikely to gain traction next Congress after Republicans narrowed Democrats' Senate majority and took control of the House.
A cap-and-trade bill, which would set a national limit on greenhouse gas emissions and require polluters to buy carbon permits, once seemed destined to become the law of the land. House Democrats passed a cap-and-trade measure in 2009 that, along with carbon limits, included incentives and mandates for renewable energy and $60 billion in funding for carbon capture and storage technologies for coal plants.
But companion measures stalled in the Senate in the face of near-unanimous Republican opposition and wavering from moderate Democrats.
President Obama said last month that Democrats would instead address energy and climate issues in "bite-sized" pieces, including mandates for wind, solar and geothermal power and incentives for more efficient buildings and vehicles.
Matt Letourneau, spokesman for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Energy Institute, said he hoped the shift in strategy was a recognition that "there are other alternatives to reducing greenhouse gases without harming the economy and adding to our deficit that Congress will pursue."
Letourneau singled out a federal fund to provide capital for renewable energy development, expanded efficiency measures and support for nuclear energy as initiatives that could pass with bipartisan support.
"There are some smaller things that have fallen by the wayside while larger, more complicated measures such as [cap and trade] have sucked up all the energy," he said.