Cap and Trade is often claimed to be authorized under the Commerce Clause of the Constitution. At best, this is a highly dubious claim.
The power to regulate interstate commerce was delegated to the federal government in the Constitution. As understood at the time of the founding, the regulation of commerce was meant to empower Congress to regulate the buying and selling of products made by others (and sometimes land), associated finance and financial instruments, and navigation and other carriage, across state jurisdictional lines. This interstate regulation of “commerce” did not include agriculture, manufacturing, mining, malum in se crime, or land use. Nor did it include activities that merely “substantially affected” commerce.
Legend: Blue – Introduced. Yellow – Passed one or more houses.
Red – Became Law. Black – Failed Vote.
2012 legislation (scroll down for previous sessions)