The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (“ACES”), passed the House Energy and Commerce Committee last month. This month, elements of the bill have been referred to eight other committees for consideration and debate.

The bill includes a cap-and-trade global warming reduction plan designed to reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020, as well as new renewable requirements for utilities, studies and incentives regarding new carbon capture and sequestration technologies, energy efficiency incentives for homes and buildings, and grants for green jobs, among other things. ACES does not, however, address how to allocate the tradable emission allowances. The issue is left to discussions among Committee members. Supporters claim the bill will reduce the nation’s reliance on foreign oil and help make the U.S. a world leader in clean energy jobs and technology.

Last week, on June 11, 2009, the House Agriculture Committee heard testimony on the impact ACES would have on farmers, small business owners, and rural Americans. Nearly 50 agriculture and food groups have expressed opposition to the bill based on estimates that the impact will be much greater on people living in rural America because of higher energy prices, higher farm input costs and higher taxes.

The full bill is expected to come to the House floor before July 4. If you have questions about how ACES could impact your business or your industry, please contact a member of the Sustainability Practice Group.

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