U.S. climate legislation moved to the middle burner this week with discussions of cap-and-trade alternatives and EPA regulation. Advocates of cap-and-trade, such as Senators Graham and Lieberman, acknowledge that cap-and-trade may be “dead.” The latest alternative is targeted industry-specific emissions control measures on power companies, the transportation sector and heavy manufacturing. Meanwhile, the EPA attempted to raise the specter and likelihood of un-legislated carbon regulation by finalizing its endangerment finding, granting California’s waiver for stricter automobile emissions standards, issuing final GHG reporting requirements and proposing the mechanism by which it will impose permitting requirements on stationary sources releasing CO2. Not to be superseded by the EPA, a group of Senators, spanning party lines and with carbon-reliant constituencies, introduced a bill to freeze the EPA’s ability to regulate GHG emissions for 2 years. Ironically, corporate America is still imploring and pleading for policy clarity and certainty.
· Environmental group and regulators look to strong-arm insurance industry for climate action. This is a topic I worked on at my former employer. To learn whether this article is 100% on-track, you’ll have to email or ask me.