From: Richard Cowan and Thomas Ferraro, Reuters
Published March 3, 2010 08:34 AM

Cap-and-trade plan dead says Senator Graham

The idea of imposing a broad cap-and-trade system to cut America's greenhouse gas emissions is dead and will be replaced with a new approach, an influential Republican senator said on Tuesday.

Lindsey Graham, one of three senators working against daunting odds to produce a compromise climate bill, has recently turned against imposing the kind of cap-and-trade system used in Europe, which involves companies buying and selling pollution permits.

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Graham did not specify whether another mechanism or some sort of cap-and-trade would be used more narrowly, such as to control emissions in the power utility sector. "The cap-and-trade bills in the House and Senate are dead. The concept of cap-and-trade is going to be replaced," he said.

Cap-and-trade would involve cutting U.S. greenhouse gas emissions between 2012 and 2050 by establishing a regulated financial market where a wide range of companies would buy and trade a shrinking number of permits to pollute, which critics say would raise costs for consumers and companies.

International climate change negotiations hinge in part on the ability of the United States, the largest carbon polluter in the developed world, enacting a pollution-control law.

Meanwhile, some lawmakers were pressing ahead with plans to block the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency from regulating carbon emissions if Congress fails to pass a bill.

Article continues: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE62142T20100303

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