Is it just us, or is Sen. Maria Cantwell suddenly everywhere?

No, it's not just us.

The most credible magazine on anyone's coffee table, The Economist, gives Cantwell—whose been getting good press for her banking reform proposal—a rave review of her climate change proposal.

They write:
Enter Maria Cantwell, the junior senator from Washington state.

She is pushing a simpler, more voter-friendly version of cap-and-trade, called “cap-and-dividend”. Under her bill, the government would impose a ceiling on carbon emissions each year. Producers and importers of fossil fuels will have to buy permits. The permits would be auctioned, raising vast sums of money. Most of that money would be divided evenly among all Americans. The bill would raise energy prices, of course, and therefore the price of everything that requires energy to make or distribute. But a family of four would receive perhaps $1000 a year, which would more than make up for it, reckons Ms Cantwell. Cap-and-dividend would set a price on carbon, thus giving Americans a powerful incentive to burn less dirty fuel. It would also raise the rewards for investing in clean energy. And it would leave all but the richest 20% of Americans—who use the most energy—materially better off, she says.


Of all the bills that would put a price on carbon, cap-and-dividend seems the most promising. (A carbon tax would be best of all, but has no chance of passing.) Ms Cantwell has a Republican co-sponsor, Susan Collins of Maine, and says she is hearing positive noises from a few other Republicans, such as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. The most attractive thing about the bill is that it is honest.


The only sound reason for acting to curb global warming is to curb global warming. Ms Cantwell does not put it so bluntly, but her bill speaks for itself.

Chris Kissel reported on Sen. Cantwell's plan last summer, noting that Washington GOP Rep. Dave Reichert (R-8) liked it, while liberal Rep. Jay Inslee (D-1)—who had a major role in the cap and trade plan that the House passed—and which the Eonomist belittles for its industry giveaways—didn't.

At the time, we noted the industry giveaways in the House bill as well.
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