Climate Change: Design Approaches for a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Program [Updated January 4, 2008] [open pdf - 212KB]
"With the passage of the 2005 Sense of the Senate climate change resolution calling on the Congress to enact a mandatory, market-based program to slow, stop, and reverse the growth of greenhouse gases, the issue of related costs has taken on increased importance. Indeed, the resolution itself states that the program should be enacted at a rate and in a manner that 'will not significantly harm the United States economy' and 'will encourage comparable action' by other nations. Facets of the cost issue that have raised concern include absolute costs to the economy, distribution of costs across industries, competitive impact domestically and internationally, incentives for new technology, and uncertainty about possible costs. […]In a sense, the options discussed here represent a continuum between alternatives focused on the price side of the equation (e.g., carbon taxes) through hybrid schemes (e.g., safety valves) to alternatives focused on the quantity side (e.g., banking and borrowing). They are tools to assist in the assessment of potential greenhouse gas reduction approaches, leaving any policy decision on balancing the price-quantity issue to the ultimate decision makers."
CRS Report for Congress, RL33799