You are right, Dr. Stavins, that cap and trade is
far from 'dead,' although I wouldn't place my bets
on the passage of whatever Frankenstein concoction Kerry, Graham, and Lieberman manage to cobble together (and dub something other than "cap and trade") this year.
Of course, with public support for climate change
action low, the alternative route, at least for now, could be to fight for action that undeniably helps reduce emissions but is motivated by other concerns - the economic imperative posed by the global clean energy race
, for example, or the ever-present motivation to do something about our nation's dependence on oil. Another potential motivating moment: the $80 billion in clean energy investments under the stimulus act will come to a close shortly. With thousands upon thousands of real jobs in real Congressional districts now tied to favorable clean energy policies, could the specter of a clean energy boom-and-bust driven by the stimulus clean energy funds, and their expiration, motivated expanded, long-term clean energy policy support? There are likely multiple routes to meaningful action in the year(s) ahead...