Representatives Present Climate Change and Clean Energy Bill to House

On March 31, 2009, a draft version of the “American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009” was released by Chairman of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce Rep. Henry Waxman and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Environment Rep. Ed Markey.

The comprehensive energy legislation contains four titles: (1) Clean Energy, which “promotes renewable sources of energy and carbon capture and sequestration technologies, low-carbon transportation fuels, clean electric vehicles, and the smart grid and electricity transmission;” (2) Energy Efficiency, which ” increases energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation, and industry;” (3) Global Warming, which “places limits on the emissions of heat-trapping pollutants;” and (4) Transition, which “protects U.S. consumers and industry and promotes green jobs during the transition to a clean energy economy.”

Perhaps most importantly, the draft bill provides an outline for a cap-and-trade program, which program has a 2020 target that is more aggressive than the 14 percent emission reduction proposed by President Obama. The draft bill does not, however, answer all possible questions as it does not, for example, address how to allocate the tradable emissions allowances. Chairmen Waxman and Markey announced plans to hold hearings following the Congressional spring break, however it remains to be seen whether the bill will pass the House.

Last week, this Newsletter discussed the EPA’s release of its proposed rule that would require mandatory reporting of GHG emissions from all sectors of the economy, an issue closely related to the proposed climate change and clean energy bill. To read more about this proposed rule and its impact on business, please click here.

If you have any questions on how this legislation may impact you, please contact a member of the Sustainability Practice Group. 

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