Cap-and-trade legislation to limit U.S. carbon dioxide emissions has “gotten out of control” and needs to be scaled back in Congress, said former Democratic Senator Timothy Wirth.
“The Republicans are right -- it’s a cap-and-tax bill,” Wirth, a climate-change negotiator during President Bill Clinton’s administration, said in an Aug. 14 interview. “That’s what it is because they are raising revenue to do all sorts of things, especially to take care of the coal industry, and it makes no sense.”
A system to cap carbon emissions and then create a market for the trading of pollution allowances is the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s proposal to fight global warming. Wirth, who helped craft a successful emissions-trading market two decades ago that cut sulfur-dioxide pollution causing acid rain, is among Democrats questioning House-passed legislation set to be taken up next month in the Senate.
“I’m not critical of cap-and-trade,” said Wirth, head of the UN Foundation, a philanthropy established in 1998 with $1 billion from medial mogul Ted Turner. “But it has to be used in a targeted and disciplined way, and what has happened is it’s gotten out of control.”
19 August 2009
Tim Wirth on Cap and Trade Legisplation
Former US Senator Tim Wirth (D-CO) and one of the original legislators calling for action on climate change in the 1980s bravely states the obvious on the legislation now being considered in the Senate: