So you want to have greenhouse gas standards with teeth, but you want to minimize the risk they take too big a bite from the economy. And, of course, like Climate Progress, you don’t like the safety valve idea. What do you do? Banking and borrowing of course.
With “banking,” the right to emit carbon can be saved for future use. With “borrowing,” current emissions are extended against future abatement.
What is fascinating is that today a detailed banking and borrowing proposal, “Cost-Containment for the Carbon Market,” was put forward by four moderate senators — Mary Landrieu (D-La.), Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.) and John Warner (R-Va.) — with the help of Duke University’s environmental program.
A Greenwire piece (subs. req’d) notes “a top environmental group also didn’t shy away from the latest idea”:
“This is an interesting proposal to help address cost concerns while maintaining the integrity of the emissions cap,” said David Doniger, an attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “Borrowing and repayment is far preferable to the safety valve, which breaks the cap by allowing firms to increase emissions with no payback requirement.
I agree. Kudos to the Senators for moving the debate forward. Here are more excerpts from the piece: