Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) has introduced legislation that would put a price on CO2 emissions. Known as the Managed Carbon Price (MCP) Act, the bill is structured more as a cap-and-dividend program than cap-and-trade, and is intended to reduce emissions while also directing revenue towards deficit reduction and reimbursing consumers for costs. The bill would have a target of 80 percent CO2 reductions by 2050.
“My bill would reduce carbon emissions, and it returns all the money to consumers and deficit reduction. Businesses want this kind of predictability, consumers need to be protected, and we need to step up and address our climate and fiscal issues,” McDermott said in a press release.
Although carbon pricing legislation has been largely out of federal political discourse since 2010, it has seen a recent revival from both sides of the aisle. Former Congressman Bob Inglis (R-SC) recently announced the “Energy and Enterprise Initiative,” an effort which will, among other things, push conservatives to adopt a carbon tax. However, a Senate hearing last week demonstrated that the debate over the science of global warming is far from settled in the minds of some GOP legislators.
What policy goals would a cap-and-dividend program accomplish? Would this bill accomplish those goals as well as another might? What secondary impacts would you expect this bill to have? What accounts for the recent resurgence in focus on climate legislation?