This article criticizes the American Clean Energy and Security Act, a bill passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in June 2009 that effectively taxes importers of various projects from specific countries. Although the House tried to justify this fee as the best way to avoid carbon leakage, defined as a significant increase in the release of greenhouse gases in other countries, I argue that this bill is protectionist and creates unrealistic expectations as to how other countries will react to the United States’ attempt to establish unilateral control over such charges. I predict that a WTO dispute panel would not rule in the United States’ favor if this bill were challenged and therefore advocate for multilateral negotiations aimed at addressing the underlying issues with carbon leakage and apportioning liability to various countries.
GW Paper Series
GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2012-142, GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2012-142
Steve Charnovitz, America's New Climate Unilateralism: A Better Approach to Copenhagen, 23 Int’l Econ. 50 (Fall 2009).