Yesterday, Senator John Kerry and Senator Joe Lieberman introduced The American Power Act. The act includes several provisions outlined here:
- States can “opt out of offshore drilling up to 75 miles off their coasts the catch? Neighboring states can veto drilling plans if they see any negative impacts to their own coastline
- State governments will receive 37.5% of offshore revenues with a portion of that going toward conservation efforts (12.5%)
- Emissions will drop to 17% below 2005 emission levels by 2020 and by 80% in 2050
- The price for carbon emissions will range from $12-25/ton and will only apply to those companies that generate more than 25000 tons of carbon annually (this will impact the 7500 largest companies, according to The Huffington Post)
- Most of the revenue (two thirds) will go back to consumers in the form of rebates or discounts
- Nuclear wins $54b in loan guarantees
- Transportation is exempt from cap and trade but will need to comply with emission reduction targets
- $2b investment in “clean coal technologies
- Job stimulus funding to come from grants
- An “international reserve requirement will go into effect if China and other key countries fail to implement climate change legislation. This would create a tariff system on imports to compensate for the cost US producers face
- Most businesses and farms would be exempt from legislation. Farms could take advantage of other schemes to reduce emissions and increase revenues
The bill runs over 900 pages with lots of “blanks throughout, in other words, much of the bill’s details remain scant. President Obama also released a statement about an energy bill yet we couldn’t help ourselves by adding some editorial commentary. According to Politico,
Obama’s full statement:
“I applaud Senators John Kerry and Joe Lieberman for their tireless work in drafting this important legislation (Ed Note: Let’s not forget Senator Lindsay Graham too). This legislation will put America on the path to a clean energy economy that will create American jobs building the solar panels, wind blades and the car batteries of the future. It will strengthen our national security by beginning to break our dependence on foreign oil (Ed Note: and instead replace it with a dependence on rare earth metals from China). And it will protect our environment for our children and grandchildren (Ed Note: Unless your children and grandchildren live in a trade-wind path that blows Chinese smog into a US city).
“Americans know what’s at stake by continuing our dependence on fossil fuels. But the challenges we face — underscored by the immense tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico — are reason to redouble our efforts to reform our nation’s energy policies. For too long, Washington has kicked this challenge to the next generation. This time, the status quo is no longer acceptable to Americans. Now is the time for America to take control of our energy future and jump start American innovation in clean energy technology that will allow us to create jobs, compete, and win in the global economy.
“The House of Representatives has already taken historic action (Ed note: yes and it would place immense harm on US industry and move it offshore as is the case with EU manufacturing) with passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act. I look forward to engaging with Senators from both sides of the aisle and ultimately passing a bill this year.”
Insiders tell us the bill will likely not become law before the November elections. Thank goodness for Democracy.