Senators Boxer and Kerry have introduced the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, a bill for energy reform and GHG reduction. It looks to be stronger than Waxman-Markey. My biggest complaint so far is the length of the title. Here are some quick facts.
- The target for GHG pollution reduction has been strengthened to 20% below 2005 levels by 2020, 80% by 2050 (the House bill aimed for a 17% reduction by 2020).
- The EPA is allowed to regulate coal plants.
- A share of revenues is guaranteed for green transportation.
- Support for CCS, natural gas, and nuclear energy is included.
Here is some info on the Pollution Reduction and Investment mechanism (basically a regulated carbon market):
- PRI is designed to let the private sector seek out the most cost‐effective ways to meet our pollution reduction goals. Major polluters will be required to turn in one “carbon credit,” essentially a voucher for the right to pollute one ton of carbon.
- These vouchers can be bought or sold, giving companies flexibility in how they reduce pollution. Those that can’t quickly or affordably do so can buy vouchers instead. Other companies better able to cut pollution can sell their vouchers to those who need them. Either way, PRI makes it profitable to reduce pollution by creating an important new incentive.
- The number of vouchers will be reduced every year.
- PRI targets businesses that emit more than 25,000 tons of CO2 annually – 2% of American businesses. So small businesses and farmers are not regulated. However, farmers that reduce their carbon footprint can be awarded carbon vouchers to sell to companies.
- PRI also offers additional support to energy‐intensive and trade‐exposed industries, like the chemicals industry, so that no advantage is given to companies that simply relocate their pollution overseas.
- Low- to moderate-income families receive rebates on their energy bills.
I may update this post later with more details. If you want all the info now, Kerry’s web site has a summary and the full 800 pages, which contain all the legislative jargon you could ask for.