New Lieberman-Warner Draft Circulated
An aide to Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.), a lead co-author of the bill, said one of the biggest changes involves an “upstream” cap placed on the heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions that come from natural gas processors. With the new bill’s natural gas section, more than 80 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that come from the U.S. economy will be covered under the legislation.Some of the other changes (see line-by-line comparison):
Previously, the bill dealt with about 75 percent of the U.S. economy.
Another change in the legislation speeds up by five years the end date for the free emission credits given out to power plants, manufacturers and other industrial sources. Free credits will now be phased out at the start of 2031, rather than the start of 2036.
- Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are separately capped (all allowances freely distributed), to “remove the financial incentive for companies to shut down their plants that use HFCs and move them to countries that don’t have similar limits” (s. 1202, 3901, 3906, 10001-11002)
- 25% of energy R&D funds explicitly allocated to renewable energy projects (an increase from a failed Sanders amendment in subcommittee markup) (s. 4401, s. 4406)
- 0.5% of annual emissions allowances to go to a “program for achieving” methane emissions reductions from landfills and coal mines (s. 3907)
- 1% of annual emissions allowances to go to states for mass transit funding, distributed following federal highway aid apportionment rules (s. 3304)
- Per the request of international aid groups, the national-security requirement for the Climate Change and National Security Fund has been dropped (s. 4801-4804)
- SEC requirement of corporate disclosure of climate risks dropped (s. 9002)
- Interagency Climate Task Force headed by EPA Administrator to submit a report “make public and submit to the President a consensus report making recommendations, including specific legislation for the President to recommend to Congress” in 2019 based on the triennial National Academy of Sciences reports
- Details added to Climate Change Worker Training Program (s. 4602-4606)
- Details added to Adaptation Fund (including combatting ocean acidification) (s. 4702)
- Details added to eligibility for carbon sequestration bonus allowances (s. 3602)