… and everyone thought cap-and-trade was dead. Sen. John Kerry said so. West Virginia Senate candidate Joe Manchin shot it in a campaign video.
Now comes news that the EPA may resurrect cap-and-trade via regulation under the Clean Air Act.
Carbon Control News (CCN) reported today that,
… EPA air chief Regina McCarthy has said that any [greenhouse gas] trading program using existing air law authority would have to be established under the [Clean Air Act Section 111(d) New Source Performance Standards (NSPS)] rather than other sections.
While McCarthy denied taking steps to advance this idea, CCN reports,
“The agency sought $5 million in its fiscal year 2011 budget ‘to assess and potentially develop NSPS regulations for major industrial sectors and seek, where possible, market-oriented mechanisms and flexibilities to provide lowest cost compliance options’ for reducing GHG emissions, according to EPA’s FY11 Annual Performance Plan. Sources have said EPA’s mention of market-oriented mechanisms is likely a reference to cap-and-trade programs.”
A limitation of cap-and-trade under the NSPS would be that,
… it can only operate within specific industry sectors, rather than operate economy-wide like the trading program that would have been established under legislative proposals for a climate cap-and-trade program introduced in the 111th Congress.
But you can bet that the first industry sector to be regulated would be electric power generators, which would have economy-wide impacts.
Let’s hope that the Republican-controlled House zeroes out any funding the EPA requests for bringing a cap-and-trade Frankenstein to life.