An editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal proclaims cap and trade legislation dead and notes that the “recriminations in the liberal press are remarkable.” According to the angry MSM, there is plenty of blame:  

Either Mr. Obama didn’t sell it well enough, perfidious Big Business intervened (never mind that many CEOs were supporters), the obtuse middle class won’t sacrifice for the global good, or evil Republicans . . . Everyone is to blame but the policy itself.

In fact, the bill went down for lack of Democratic votes, in particular those from Midwest coal and manufacturing states. Voters in those states have figured out that cap and tax is a redistributionist exercise from the carbon-dependent heartland to the richer coasts. A Democrat-Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia-is also leading the charge to repeal the EPA’s climate “endangerment” regulation that imposes cap and trade though the backdoor.

This is good news-for now. It is not at all certain that cap and trade is dead, however. Democrats, hectored by the press and the left of their party, are quite likely to revive it in a lame duck Congress where already-departing members can vote on it with impunity. The important thing to remember is that it’s bad policy:

Whatever one thinks of the science of climate change, cap and tax is the wrong policy response. At enormous economic cost, it would do little to reduce global carbon emissions. To the extent that it reduces growth, it would make the world less able to cope with the consequences if temperatures do rise. The richer the world, the more resources the world will have to adapt and ameliorate bad effects.