Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act
“I applaud Chairmen Kerry and Boxer for their leadership on comprehensive energy reform. With the draft legislation they are announcing today, we are one step closer to putting America in control of our energy future and making America more energy independent. My Administration is deeply committed to passing a bill that creates new American jobs and the clean energy incentives that foster innovation. I commend Senators Boxer and Kerry for their work and look forward to signing comprehensive energy legislation that addresses this urgent challenge.”
That is a statement from our President on the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. Here is Gore’s:
“I applaud the leadership of Senators Barbara Boxer and John Kerry and their committees’ efforts to advance historic comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation in the U.S. Congress. The broad majority of Americans supports clean energy legislation and understand the urgency with which we and our leaders must act. Today’s Senate action brings our nation one step closer to enacting the policies that will create new jobs and industries by repowering America with clean energy, bring meaningful cuts in global warming pollution, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. With the eyes of the world upon us as we near treaty negotiations in Copenhagen in December, America has the opportunity to lead the international community and enact a truly global response to the climate crisis.”
Senator Kerry has everything you could possibly want to know about the bill here:
Read an overview of the bill.
Read a summary of the bill.
Read a section by section summary of the bill.
Read the press release announcing the introduction of the bill.
Read a description of the Pollution Reduction and Investment mechanism in the bill.
Read endorsements by business, political, and religious leaders
Read the full bill text.
Here are some of the key details from Wonk Room:
EMISSIONS LIMITS: As Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) requested, the 2020 target for greenhouse pollution reductions has been strengthened to 20 percent below 2005 levels, instead of Waxman-Markey’s 17 percent target. “At the end of the day, what happens early on is what’s most important, not what your goals are 50 years from now,” Sanders told E&E News. “That’s a significant step forward.” Reflecting the fact that emissions are already 8.5 percent below 2005 levels, these stronger standards will spur greater investment in clean-energy jobs.
GREEN TRANSPORTATION: Kerry-Boxer includes Sen. Tom Carper’s (D-Del.) push for green transportation, devoting “a guaranteed share of revenues from carbon regulation to transit, bike paths, and other green modes of transport.” The SmartWay Transportation Efficiency Program is modeled on the Clean, Low-Emission, Affordable, New Transportation Efficiency Act (S. 575 / H.R. 1329), co-sponsored by Sens. Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), and Ben Cardin (D-Md.).
COAL PLANT GREENHOUSE GAS REGULATION: Kerry-Boxer follows Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) call that “the EPA has to have authority to regulate coal plants under the Clean Air Act.”
Kerry-Boxer includes placeholder language for carbon market regulation, to be provided by Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine). Sen. Boxer plans to hold hearings on the legislation over the following weeks, with the aim of reporting the bill out of committee by the end of the October.
At the behest of a bloc of senators from states with major natural gas reserves — Michael Bennet and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Mark Begich (D-Alaska), Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and David Vitter (D-La.), Arlen Specter (D-Pa.), Sam Brownback (R-Kan.), and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) — Kerry-Boxer also includes provisions that provide extra rewards for coal plant owners to switch to natural gas. Murkowski, Landrieu, Vitter, and Brownback are still expected to oppose the legislation as a job-killer.
Several senators, led by Sens. Tom Udall (D-N.M.) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.), are hoping to reform and strengthen the federal renewable energy standard included in the Energy Committee companion bill when debate reaches the Senate floor.
A number of senators have committed to passing strong climate and clean energy legislation, including Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), who is “optimistic we can turn energy potential into reality and help create new job opportunities at home by producing more clean energy in the United States.” After telling a global warming skeptic that “climate change is very real,” Stabenow was eviscerated by the right wing. Both Brown and Specter have committed to voting against a Republican filibuster of climate legislation — a key move for President Obama’s progressive energy agenda.