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A rare bit of good news on the climate front

The EPA is standing firm on regulating carbon emissions.

By Ezra Klein  |  July 30, 2010; 1:13 PM ET
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If regulating it through the EPA will lead to “unprecedented bureaucratic licensing and regulatory burdens on farmers, ranchers, small businesses, hospitals and even schools”, then why not some sort of market based approach? Maybe set a price on carbon, and allow industry to buy and sell the right to emit CO2 below an overall cap? This way the amazingly efficient invisible hand finds ingenious ways to reduce emissions without any burdensome and complex regulatory regime. Why hasn't anyone though of that?

Posted by: jeirvine | July 30, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

It would have been pretty amazing if the EPA buckled based on strongly worded letters from industry and Republicans, but this is indeed good news.

Posted by: MosBen | July 30, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

jeirvine, that sounds like a really good idea. Capping carbon emissions, and then monetizing those emissions in units. You could sell them on the market, the way shares are traded on the exchanges now. It's precisely the type of market-based approach that rewards private enterprise and entrepreneurialism and keeps government involvement at a minimum. But you need a catchy moniker for such a proposal to cap carbon emissions and then trade them. "Cap and sell"? "Selling caps"? "Trading caps"? Hmm, something like that.

Posted by: simpleton1 | July 30, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

I've liked a lot of what I've seen from Lisa Jackson so far. She's got a really hard job dealing with an issue that we don't take nearly as seriously as we should. Obviously, she hasn't been perfect, but she's been pretty great. Thumbs up on this particular appointment.

Posted by: slag | July 30, 2010 7:19 PM | Report abuse

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