One of the more ambitious and progressive proposals in the climate debate is Peter Barnes’ “cap-and-dividend,” which would take the revenue from carbon permit auctions and distribute it evenly to every U.S. citizen on a monthly basis.
Another common progressive/enviro position on climate legislation is that it should minimize the use of offsets, particularly international offsets that originate in programs like the Clean Development Mechanism with a questionable record of actual emission reductions.
As it happens, both these positions are reflected in amendments being offered to the Lieberman-Warner climate bill on the Senate floor. One would boost the percentage of permits auctioned and return all revenue to citizens; the other would eliminate international offsets as a means of compliance.
Both are sponsored or co-sponsored by … Republican Sen. Bob Corker (Tenn.).
I don’t have anything particularly deep to say about this, other than that it demonstrates that the politics and policy around this issue are far from settled. There are plenty of areas where progressive goals and conservative principles overlap — mainly around transparency and simplicity. There are far more wrinkles in this issue than have been explored yet. Interesting times!