The cap-and-trade approach appears to be a goner. The bipartisan bill introduced by Sens. Maria Cantwell and Susan Collins -- the Carbon Limits and Energy for America's Renewal Act (S. 2877) -- however, seems to me to offer a sound approach to addressing our dependence on fossil fuels. It would set up a mechanism to sell carbon shares to fossil fuel producers and importers through monthly auctions.
Seventy-five percent of the auction revenue would be returned to every citizen and legal resident of the United States through annual rebate checks averaging $1,100 per family of four. The other 25 percent would fund clean-energy research and development; help reduce emissions in agriculture, forestry and manufacturing; and provide transition assistance for workers and communities in carbon-intensive regions like Pennsylvania.
This seems to be a refreshingly simple and equitable bill. Sen. Bob Casey should cosponsor the CLEAR Act and work toward its passage.