Senate releases draft version of Boxer/Kerry Climate bill

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Update – Sept 30, 2009

Download the updated version of the “Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act

Boxer, Kerry and nine other supporting Senators released the updated version of the (now 821 page) climate change bill – the “Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.”

According to this New York Times article, the release of the bill was accomplished in the midst of a “campaign-style rally.” The article also noted that while retaining the same requirements for emissions reductions as described in yesterday’s post (below), as well as maintaining structurally the same means and methods for meeting those reductions, the bill authors have now chosen to abandon the use of the term “cap and trade.” The program will now apparently be referred to as the “Pollution Reduction and Investment” program.

Senator Boxer also attempted to reassure listeners that the newly named program will achieve its emissions-reduction goals without adding “one penny to the deficit.”

President Obama and Democratic House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi both praised the bill. Pelosi referred to the bill as a strong foundation for the U.S. to enter the upcoming U.N. Climate Summit in Denmark in December.

House Republican Leader John Boehner panned the bill, referring to it as an “energy tax,” and noting that the bill would impact the finances of middle class Americans and small business, by raising energy prices, gas prices, and forcing American jobs overseas.

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Download the text of this draft bill.

We have received an early draft of the Boxer/Kerry Senate climate bill.

Early reports indicate that the bill will follow a similar path as the House bill. This draft version sits at 684 pages and will require emission reduction limits of 42% below 2005 levels by 2030 and 83% reduction by 2050. However, it moves beyond the House’s 17% reduction requirement by 2020, bumping that number up to 20%.

Other reports indicate that Senate aides caution that this early draft is only a “snapshot” of the work that continues to be done in Senate. A second — over 800 page — draft is set to be released on September 30th. Neither version will give details on how the multiple billions of dollars from the auction of emission allowances will used or distributed. Those figures are being withheld until the markup phase of the bill in the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

This early draft is reported to have also removed the House bill’s restrictions on the EPA’s freedom to enact climate regulations. It has, however, maintained the House’s funding for the commercial deployment of carbon capture and storage and provides for the creation of standards to limit emissions of GHG from new coal generation plants.

Where the House bill split the authority over carbon markets between FERC and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), the early draft Senate bill has placed this authority of the CFTC and given them broad powers to regulate the market.

Download the text of this draft bill.

29. September 2009 by Jason Hayes
Categories: Climate Change, Environment | Tags: , , | Comments Off on Senate releases draft version of Boxer/Kerry Climate bill