September 2, 2009

The Course of Climate Legislation, in Graphs

Generally, it's wise to take prediction markets with a few grains of salt. But I think the Intrade graph of the probability of a cap-and-trade program being enacted by the end of 2010 tracks fairly well how climate legislation has fared thus far:

As you can see, it dips sharply in May, when it looked like Waxman-Markey might not get out of Energy and Commerce, then gets better and better, until it passes in late June and briefly crosses 50. Then nothing for a while, then the Senate delays until September, and just recently delays indefinitely -- and it tumbles.

For comparison's sake, here's the graph for the contract saying cap-and-trade will be enacted by the end of 2009:

Its activity isn't terribly different from the 2010 contract, though note that it starts to decline in mid-July, rather than mid-August. A sign, perhaps, that the health care debate was crowding out any chance of climate change legislation being acted upon this year?

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