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EEI's Kuhn Criticizes Cap-and-Dividend Option for Climate Bill

EEI Daily Energy News

EEI President Tom Kuhn voiced objections to a cap-and-dividend strategy for auctioning GHG emissions permits, Environment and Energy Daily reported.  Kuhn predicted consumers would resist the rate increases resulting from emissions limits if they only had "a promise a check will come down the road from the federal government." Kuhn added his opinion that the strategy will "cause a negative reaction on doing something on climate change." The plan being put forth by Sens. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Susan Collins, R-Maine, would return 75 percent of auction revenue to consumers, with the other 25 percent funding clean energy projects.

Cantwell responded to concerns voiced by Kuhn and others by claiming that consumers "want the money themselves" rather than have their utilities receive the revenue. An industry lawyer commented that if Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., and Joseph Lieberman, ID-Conn., adopted the Cantwell-Collins plan, they would not be able to offer the "political candy" of emissions permits to senators in order to ensure a filibuster-proof majority for a climate bill.

Environment and Energy Daily, Feb. 24.