Thursday, April 02, 2009

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry A. Waxman and Chairman Edward J. Markey of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee have released a draft of energy legislation that will create millions of clean energy jobs, put America on the path to energy independence, and cut global warming pollution. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) has four titles:

1) A clean energy title that promotes renewable sources of energy, carbon capture and sequestration technologies, low-carbon fuels, clean electric vehicles, and the smart grid and electricity transmission;
2) An energy efficiency title that increases energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation, and industry;
3) A global warming title that places limits on emissions of heat-trapping pollutants; and
4) A transitioning title that protects U.S. consumers and industry and promotes green jobs during the transition to a clean energy economy.

The Energy and Commerce Committee will complete consideration of the legislation by Memorial Day. The preliminary schedule follows:

Week of April 20: Energy and Environment Subcommittee Hearings
Week of April 27: Energy and Environment Subcommittee Markup Period Begins
Week of May 11: Full Energy and Commerce Committee Markup Period Begins

The Center is recommending that two provisions should be added to the global warming title in ACES:

1) Nuclear power will qualify as a renewable resource to meet the requirement to have 25 percent of electricity derived from renewable energy by 2025.

2) Distribute allowances free to utilities and use the Acid Rain Program as the model for auctioning allowances to provide an appropriate market price signal to sellers, purchasers and government agencies.

The draft legislation does not address whether 100 percent of the allowances, or a smaller percentage, will be auctioned. The Center opposes auctioning the allowances, except as minimally implemented in the Acid Rain Program. The Center also finds it interesting that the draft bill exempts New Source Review from the program and CO2 from being regulated as an EPA criteria pollutant:

Clean Air Act Exemptions. The draft provides that CO2 and other greenhouse gases may not be regulated as criteria pollutants or hazardous air pollutants on the basis of their effect on global warming. The draft also provides that new source review does not apply to these global
warming pollutants.

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 Discussion Draft Full Text

American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 Discussion Draft Summary

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