While six Senate committees develop various climate-change bills, Democratic U.S. Sen. John Kerry and Republican U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham have outlined a plan to bridge differences among the panels and between their parties.
The Kerry-Graham package would set up a cap-and-trade system allowing polluters to buy carbon-emission credits from firms that cut their output.
The senators' plan, described in a newspaper column, has several key features:
- It sets maximum and minimum prices for the carbon credits.
- It streamlines the permit process for new nuclear power reactors.
- It authorizes expanded offshore oil and natural gas drilling.
- It considers a "border tax" on imports from countries with weak environmental standards.