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CO2 a common election concern

Exhaust rises from the main chimneys of a coal-fired power plant.

TEXT OF STORY

Doug Krizner: Wisconsin and Hawaii get their turn today -- a presidential primary in the first and a Democratic caucus in the second. The candidates are all working hard to differentiate themselves. But most of them do agree on one thing, and it's a biggie. Sarah Gardner reports from the Marketplace Sustainability Desk.


Sarah Gardner: For years now, environmentalists have proclaimed greenhouse gas regulation in this country "inevitable." It now appears they're right. All the leading presidential candidates endorse a limit on CO2 emissions. Clinton, Obama, McCain, even Huckabee supports so-called cap-and-trade.

Steve Cochran is with Environmental Defense:

Steve Cochran: We have absolutely crossed an historic threshold.

McCain, in fact, co-sponsored the first climate change bill in the Senate. A McCain spokeswoman, however, indicated McCain will only back a bill that specifically cites support for nuclear power as well.

Yale environmental law expert Dan Esty is skeptical Congress will pass CO2 legislation before the election. Liberals, he figures, are worried it'll be too weak. Conservatives are worried about the economics.

Dan Esty: And they fear that pushing any legislation at this point that might be seen as burdening the economy could be used against them.

Esty, an Obama supporter, says Congress will ultimately pass something. Polls show a majority of Americans want it.

I'm Sarah Gardner for Marketplace.

About the author

Sarah Gardner is a reporter on the Marketplace sustainability desk.

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