Climate Change

Will there be a renewed effort to pass legislation next year to counter global warming through a cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax? With the October havoc wrought on New York City and New Jersey coastlines by superstorm Sandy, there has been a surge of speculation that Sandy and other recent natural disasters are a result of climate change.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed comprehensive climate change legislation in 2009, commonly known as the Waxman-Markey bill, but its final enactment was stymied by Senate inaction. With Republicans in control of the House next year, escalating budget deficits looming and the U.S. economy still in recovery mode, it is highly unlikely that a major climate change measure would be approved-which widens the open door for EPA to push for stricter greenhouse gas controls administratively.

Mogel & Sweet's call: No comprehensive climate change bill will be enacted in the next Congress but expect regulatory mandates to curb emissions.