News on the Political Front

by Daniel Farber | October 29, 2009

Cross-posted from Legal Planet.

Both the NY Times and the Washington Post had lead stories [Wednesday] on the politics of climate change legislation.  The Post’s story centered on the increasing focus of the debate on the economic impact of climate legislation and on the difficulty of establishing the facts:

In anticipation, groups on the left and the right — as well as government outfits such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Congressional Budget Office — have issued a spate of analyses projecting the costs and, sometimes, the benefits of congressional climate legislation. But the fine print in many of these projections reveals that they are based on assumptions that could easily turn out otherwise, meaning lawmakers will have to take a leap of faith about how a cap-and-trade program — which would control pollution by providing economic incentives to reduce emissions — might affect the economy.

It seems to me that the “high cost” estimates are implausible on political rather than economic grounds — if the legislation turns out to cause large unemployment or price spikes for consumers, it will be speedily modified.  In addition, history shows that all environmental legislation has been accompanied by similar alarmist warnings, which haven’t come to pass.

The Times lead with a story about the Obama Administration’s increased efforts to advance legislation. Opponents complain about the cost of the legislation, but also that the bill is so complex and ...

Boxer-Kerry Centralizes Procedures for Adaptation But Lacks Substantive Guidance

by Alejandro Camacho | October 07, 2009
This post is the sixth in a series from CPR Member Scholars examining different aspects of the Boxer-Kerry bill on climate change, which was released September 30. Though the Boxer-Kerry bill's take on climate change adaptation is similar to the approach adopted by the House of Representatives through the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), a number of significant features are different (see my post from May, with Holly Doremus, analyzing an early version of that bill's provisions on ...

Holding Government and Emitters Accountable Under Boxer-Kerry

by Nina Mendelson | October 07, 2009
This post is the fifth in a series from CPR Member Scholars examining different aspects of the Boxer-Kerry bill on climate change, which was released September 30. To expand a bit on some of what Bill Buzbee discussed in his excellent analysis of the Boxer-Kerry bill on CPRBlog, it is critical to ensure that the implementation of a new climate change regime is done in a way that is prompt and efficient, but also accountable. An effective bill needs to ...

Boxer-Kerry: Measures to Address Error and Illegality

by William Buzbee | October 05, 2009
This post is the fourth in a series from CPR Member Scholars examining different aspects of the Boxer-Kerry bill on climate change, which was released September 30 The Boxer-Kerry bill released on September 30, 2009 is yet another massive piece of proposed legislation. And it is likely to get even larger as details are added regarding distribution of pollution allowances, and as other gaps and shortcomings are addressed. Its basic architecture and enforcement provisions, however, give us a good feel for the ...

Boxer-Kerry: Carbon Capture and Sequestration Provisions Are About Right

by Alexandra Klass | October 05, 2009
This post is the third in a series from CPR Member Scholars examining different aspects of the Boxer-Kerry bill on climate change, which was released September 30. The Boxer-Kerry bill, like the Waxman-Markey bill that passed the House, provides for funding, study, and emissions allowances for Carbon Capture and Sequestration (CCS). In terms of developing a technology in the short-term to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from power plants, this is sound policy. On the other hand, it will be important to ensure ...

Boxer-Kerry: Integrating Regulation and Cap-and-Trade

by Alice Kaswan | October 01, 2009
This post is the second in a series from CPR Member Scholars examining different aspects of the Boxer-Kerry bill on climate change, which was released September 30. Wednesday was a big day for advocates of traditional regulation. While the Waxman-Markey bill proposed exempting greenhouse gases (GHGs) from key Clean Air Act (CAA) provisions, the Boxer-Kerry bill proposes a greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade program to complement rather than replace the CAA’s standard authority to establish regulations for stationary sources of air pollutants. Almost ...

Boxer-Kerry an Improvement over ACES on Offsets

by Victor Flatt | September 30, 2009
This post is first in a series from CPR Member Scholars examining different aspects of the Boxer-Kerry bill on climate change, which was released today. With respect to offsets, the Boxer-Kerry bill is a distinct improvement over the ACES. It allows a relatively strong approach to offset integrity, avoiding negative social or environmental effects, and facilitating possible integration with other systems. It also addresses some issues that will be important to the functioning of a trading market, but still leaves ...

Full Boxer-Kerry climate bill is up

by Ben Somberg | September 30, 2009
The full 821-page bill is up here. That's not to be confused with the 801-page pre-draft everyone was checking out yesterday, or the 684-page one earlier yesterday. They’ve also got a section-by-section outline of the bill. We'll have much more soon. ...

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