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Cap and trade, the litigation angle

The House Energy and Commerce Committee has just begun marking up H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Climate Security Act, in its latest form just 946 pages of directives, mandates, ukases, orders and some credits thrown in for negotiating purposes.

One provision that's missing from earlier versions is the "citizen lawsuit" language that would have invited activists groups and their allies in the litigation world to sue for violations of the Clean Air Act. The committee staff of Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) had a quick summary of why that language would have been so objectionable here, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Marlo Lewis warned against it here. However, CEI's Myron Ebell, who chairs the Cooler Heads Coalition, reports its absence from the latest draft.

Any legislation that seeks to regulate economic activity that emits carbon dioxide will by its very command-and-control nature invite litigation, but at least the most obvious avenue has been excised. For now.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.