Is cap and trade dead?

John Broder wrote for the NY Times: Tracing the Demise of Cap and Trade –
and his point is rather that the recession killed off cap and trade, as people have become increasingly suspicious of markets after the meltdown.

Then there is a response the Huffington Post from Robert Stavins, one of the leading academics studying cap and trade policy: Robert Stavins: Who Killed Cap-and-Trade? Stavins argues that the same thing would have happened to any leading climate policy.

It’s hard to know what to believe at this point: the bottom line is that while “Who Killed” questions help push forward entertaining documentaries, inertia is easier than anything else in policy.

What seems to be missing from both arguments seems obvious to me: Obama’s staffers are smart enough not to fight a two-front war. He spent a lot of political capital on health care reform, and he didn’t have any left over for other major initiatives. So along with health care reform, he pushed the palatable–a spending program, high speed rail. I suspect we’ll see climate policy back on the agenda soon, now that one battle has been largely won.