Energy and Climate

Should carbon-based fuels be phased out?


Congress and the Obama administration are advancing policies directly aimed — for the first time — at cutting emissions from burning carbon fuels. The Environmental Protection Agency plans to regulate greenhouse-gas emissions, which scientists link to global warming. The House recently passed a comprehensive energy bill that would institute a “cap-and-trade” system imposing an increasingly tight cap on carbon emissions by requiring polluters such as electric-power companies to buy emission permits or switch to cleaner energy sources. The legislation is backed by most major energy and environmental groups. Some critics say the bill is fatally flawed, however, partly because the trading market in which big carbon-emitting companies may buy unused pollution permits will make carbon-fuel prices too unpredictable and open to manipulation. It's also unclear ...

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