‹ Back to Columns

Climate Change Legislation Writ Small

MODERN CASTING currently is developing a series of stories about the effects of climate change legislation pending in Congress. The details of the legislation can get confusing, but a recent plan by a regional organization makes the whole thing easier to understand.

As is detailed in the first installment of the MC article (“The Climate Is Changing”), the Senate is considering several bills that would limit the amount of carbon dioxide manufacturing facilities can emit. If the facilities exceed the prescribed amounts, they’ll be penalized. Probably monetarily.

According to a New York Times article, the Bay Area Air Quality Management District in San Francisco wants to cut right to the chase. The organization can by state law institute a regulation that would charge businesses several cents per ton of carbon dioxide emitted.

It will be May 21 before we learn whether the San Francisco group exercises its legal right, or whether the court presents a challenge to that right. For now, what we can take away from this is a microcosm of the debate on Capitol Hill. You pay for what you emit.