Bipartisan energy-policy panel calls for CO2 caps

The notion of imposing mandatory restrictions on greenhouse-gas emissions in the U.S. continues to gather steam among those with no power to impose them. A privately funded panel of energy experts — including Republicans, Democrats, academics, environmentalists, and energy-industry representatives — wrapped up two years of study today with the release of its official recommendations, including a call for carbon-dioxide caps and an emissions-credit trading system. In what panel co-chair (and ex-EPA chief) William K. Reilly called “a balanced set of supply and demand proposals,” designed to address both economic and environmental needs, the panel also pushed for tighter fuel- economy standards and more support for renewable energy development, as well as for oil and gas exploration and nuclear power. Representatives from the Bush administration, the energy industry, and large enviro organizations all issued responses supporting the aspects of the report they’ve traditionally supported and opposing those aspects they’ve traditionally opposed. Sigh.