Amendments to House Energy Bill Announced: RES, No CAFE 2

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 02 Aug 2007 20:47:00 GMT

The proposed amendments to HR 3221 have been submitted and are available for review, as are those for HR 2776.

Of significance for HR 3221:
  • Both major CAFE standards bills, Markey-Platts, and Hill-Terry, were withdrawn. Barton’s CAFE bill is still on the slate as Amendment #62
  • Udall-Platts (HR 969), the Renewable Energy Standard, is on the slate as Amendment #96 and probably has enough votes for passage
  • Herseth Sandlin submitted Amendment #81 to change the Renewable Fuels Standard program to require the production of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels by 2022
  • Boustany’s Amendment #9 makes the Secretary of Energy a statutory member of the National Security Council
  • Shay’s Amendment #105 doubles the funding for the Weatherization Assistance Program
HR 2776:
  • McCrery submitted the Republican substitute for the tax package as Amendment #7

Lieberman-Warner Plan Unveiled 21

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 02 Aug 2007 16:39:00 GMT

Sens. Lieberman and Warner have unveiled the skeleton of their cap-and-trade legislation, America’s Climate Security Act.

Cap

“The bill will specify an annual aggregate tonnage cap, expressed in terms of Co2 equivalence, for each year from 2012 through 2050. The cap that the bill will specify for 2012 will be the 2005 emissions level.” And: 10% below 2005 by 2020, 30% by 2030, 50% by 2030, 70% by 2050.

Allowances

  • Each year 20% of that year’s National Emission Allowance Account for free to covered entities within the industry sector.
  • In 2012 20% of the NEAA will be allocated to the electric power sector. A portion of that 20% will be free to new entrants to the electric power sector. The allocation will be at 20% from 2012 – 2017, then transition to 0% by 2035.
  • 10% will be allocated to load-serving entities to defray energy-cost impacts on low- and middle-income consumers and to promote demand-side energy efficency, some of it for free to rural electric cooperative facilities.
  • 8% will be allocated to covered entities who have taken pre-enactment action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. That 8% will transition to 0% by 2020.
  • Each year 4% will be allocated to state governments, half based on population, half on historical state emissions.
  • Each year 4% will be allocated to US coal mines.
  • Each year 7.5% will be allocated to farmers, foresters, and other landowners to store carbon in soils, crops, and forests.
  • Each year 2.5% will be allocated to the transportation sector.

Allowances for Auction

  • 24% in 2012 will go to auction under the aegis of the Climate Change Credit Corporation; rising to 52% by 2035.

Auction Proceeds

  • 20% for a public-private partnership for power-sector technologies including CCS
  • 20% for public-private partnership for CCS
  • 20% for transportation sector technologies and reducing miles traveled
  • 10% for environmental mitigation
  • 10% for SO2, NOx, mercury emission reduction from coal plants
  • 10% to state and local for low-income community mitigation
  • 10% for international mitigation

CCS

CCS regulations and a legal framework for the Federal assumption of liability for geological storage will be proposed by a study group within two years of enactment.

Carbon Market Efficiency Board, Banking

  • Up to 15% of the allowances a covered entity must submit may be comprised of borrowed allowances, with an interest rate set by the Board.
  • Up to 15% of the allowances that a covered entity must submit may be comprised of offset credits.
  • Up to 15% of the allowances that a covered entity must submit may be comprised of allowances purchased on a certified foreign greenhouse gas emissions trading market.
  • the Board may increase the number of emissions credits if the average daily closing price of an emissions credit exceeds the upper end of the range predicted by the CBO prior to the start of the program.
  • The Board may adjust the terms and interest rates of the emissions loans “as needed to avoid significant harm to the economy” and “in the event of more extreme economic circumstances” to raise the cap temporarily provided that subsequent year’s caps are tightened so that cumulative reductions are unchanged.

Offsets

“The bill will set forth detailed, rigorous requirements for offsets, with the purpose of ensuring that they will represent real, additional, verifiable, and permanent emissions reductions.”

Foreign Tariffs

The President will be authorized to require that importers of GHG-intensive products submit emissions allowances of a value equivalent to that of the allowances that the US system effectively requires of domestic manufacturers, if it is determined that nation has not taken commensurate action to reduce GHG emissions.

EPW Delegation to Greenland

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 02 Aug 2007 14:43:00 GMT

Last weekend, Sen. Barbara Boxer led a delegation from the Environment and Public Works Committee to Greenland:
  • Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.)
  • Ben Cardin (D-Md.)
  • Bill Nelson (D-Fl.)
  • Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.)
  • Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.)
  • Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.)
  • Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)
  • Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
  • Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.)

Inhofe sent staffer Mark Morano, a former writer for the rightwing Cybercast News Service. Richard Alley of Penn State University, the lead author on the United States Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was the scientific advisor on the trip. They met with Arkalo Abelsen, Greeland’s environmental minister.

News coverage

* Associated Press: Georgia senator views effects of climate change in Greenland
Sen. Johnny Isakson of Georgia traveled to Greenland over the weekend to get a firsthand glimpse at the effects of global warming.

The first-term Republican from Marietta said the trip reinforced his belief that the United States should gradually move away from fossil fuels like oil and coal. But it didn’t convince him that more urgent steps are needed, and he remains unconvinced that the current warming is a departure from long-term natural cycles.

“There is no question that carbon (dioxide) is contributing to the warming but there’s also no question that warming is cyclical and has happened in the past,” he said in a phone interview Monday.

What's Missing from the House Energy Bill; Dingell on Carbon Tax

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 02 Aug 2007 14:10:00 GMT

The New York Times has an editorial on the energy bill to be debated this week (HR 3221): An Incomplete Energy Bill.

The House will begin debating Friday on a generally useful energy bill that would increase energy efficiency, encourage more responsible oil and gas development on public lands and stimulate investment in cleaner fuels. Yet the bill is incomplete. If it truly hopes to address the problems of global warming and energy independence, three vital issues need to be addressed.
The three missing components:
  • CAFE Standard (Markey-Platts, HR 1506)
  • Renewable Energy Standard (Udall, HR 969)
  • Low-Carbon Fuel Standard

This is also the Union of Concerned Scientists platform.

Rep. Dingell, meanwhile, wrote an op-end on the carbon tax: The Power in the Carbon Tax. It’s a critical insight into the thinking of perhaps the most influential person in Congress in shaping global warming policy.

I apparently created a mini-storm last month when I observed publicly for at least the sixth time since February that some form of carbon emissions fee or tax (including a gasoline tax) would be the most effective way to curb carbon emissions and make alternatives economically viable. I said, as I have on many occasions, that we would have to go to some kind of cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions.