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Burned by carbon pricing, Dems chart new course on climate


Rep. Kathy Castor (D-Fla.), chair of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis, released a “transformative road map” for climate policy in July 2020. Democrats are trying to coalesce around a climate policy. It was more than a decade ago when Democrats tried and failed to pass a federal cap-and-trade program. Now they are taking a different approach.

President Biden and congressional Democrats seem increasingly likely to pursue a plan that eliminates greenhouse gas emissions from power plants while pouring money into green infrastructure to cut carbon dioxide from cars, buildings and factories.

The approach marks a sharp departure from the last time Democrats controlled Washington. In the first two years of the Obama administration, climate policy largely centered around the creation of a carbon cap-and-trade program.

But a decade of bruising political losses, coupled with the success of tax incentives and state mandates designed to boost wind and solar production, has convinced many Democrats to travel a new path.

Focusing on infrastructure investments has the benefit of creating jobs, as well as cutting emissions, they say. Targeted investments can also address long-standing concerns over racial and economic equity. And many in the party believe they have found a politically popular policy — […]

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