President Obama’s use of executive authority and his Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) interpretation of existing laws might have laid the groundwork for renewed cap-and-trade efforts, political experts said Wednesday.

The courts have approved many of the EPA’s pollution regulations, giving Obama license to propose new rules, former EPA Administrator Carol Browner said during a Politico-hosted panel discussion at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C.

She explained those court victories have created momentum that might make industry-specific cap-and-trade plans more palatable than the prospect of facing new regulations. Though comprehensive cap-and-trade legislation might be off the table for now, she said that dynamic opens opportunities for piecemeal progress on cap-and-trade, she said.