The American Clean Energy and Security Act would seek to slash 2005 greenhouse gas emission levels 83 percent by 2050 through a cap-and-trade system in which government would set a declining limit on the amount of carbon dioxide that could be emitted and would issue allowances to emitting companies that could buy and sell those rights.
The work on this bill is far from done, and the debate on the House floor promises to be spirited, as it should be. We continue to hope that Congress will consider a simpler carbon tax rebated to all taxpayers or less bureaucratic versions of cap-and-trade, such as that proposed by Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). But it’s encouraging that lawmakers are undertaking to meet the challenges of climate change. The responsibility is theirs, not that of unelected bureaucrats using laws far beyond their intended purpose.