Here is a question for cap-and-trade supporters. Nancy Pelosi has already said she wants to wait until 2010 (she later changed this to late 2009) to get a cap-and-trade bill through. Now maybe you can push one sooner. But to get one through soon (even by the revised late 2009 schedule) you are probably going to have to allow for substantial giveaways (grandfathering) rather than 100% (or anything like 100%) auctioning. You will probably have to give up any certainty claimed for a cap-and-trade by agreeing to a price ceiling (off-ramp/escape clause). You will probably have to allow counterfeit emissions reductions (offsets).

Right now it looks like this will be in any bill, but it will almost certainly be a condition of getting anything through in 2009. And even if you agree to all this, odds are you won’t get anything through this year.

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So let me ask you: what is your limit for this sort of thing? Is there any point at which you will say, “this is not acceptable, I’ll oppose the current bill and try again later”?

[Update] Every cap-and-trade supporter I’ve run into who considers themselves “practical” about the politics says that 100% auctioning is out of the question, that no off-ramp (price ceiling) is out of the question, that no offsets are out of the question. The above assumes my experience represents the views of “players” on this issue in general. So let me modify this. Is there anyone who considers themselves knowledgeable about the practical politics, who supports cap-and-trade who disagrees with these premises?

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