National Briefing Call on The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act 9

Posted by Laura Sanders Mon, 05 Oct 2009 19:00:00 GMT

On September 30th, Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and John Kerry (D-MA) introduced The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. The draft legislation includes access and opportunity in the clean energy-economy, and strong climate standards.

Join us to talk about the bill, and our next steps to get it passed through the Environment and Public Works Committee and the full Senate. Expert speakers will analyze the draft and discuss the significance of two key provisions: the Green Construction Careers Demonstration Project and funding for the Green Jobs Act.

To register for the call, please fill out this form.

Featured Speakers:

  • Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Green For All
  • Mark Ayers, AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department
  • Madeline Janis, Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy
  • Jessy Tolkan, Energy Action Coalition

Robert Byrd Praises Kerry-Boxer's Support For Coal Industry

Posted by Brad Johnson Fri, 02 Oct 2009 22:41:00 GMT

Although Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) was a sharp critic of the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act, he has adopted a mildly supportive tone in his initial response to the Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs Act.

Robert Byrd (D-W.V.)

West Virginia Gazette I am glad to see that Senators Kerry and Boxer included some of the provisions I and other senators recommended related to carbon capture and storage. I am pleased that Senators Boxer and Kerry are placing a greater focus on clean coal technology. While it is an encouraging sign, we have a long way to go on this legislation. Many issues have yet to be addressed. There is still a tough road ahead.

However, fellow West Virginia senator Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) lashed out at the legislation for its strengthened carbon cap, calling the bill “a disappointing step in the wrong direction.”

Senate Watch, Republican Response To Kerry-Boxer: Alexander, Barrasso, Bond, Hutchison, Inhofe, Johanns, McCain, Murkowski, Roberts, Thune, Voinovich, Wicker 9

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 01 Oct 2009 21:21:00 GMT

Senate Republicans, even those who have supported climate legislation in the past or who claim to recognize the threat of climate change, have nearly universally condemned the Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs Act. Only George Voinovich (R-Ohio) sounded a moderately conciliatory note:

George Voinovich (R-Ohio)

Columbus Dispatch Republican Sen. George V. Voinovich of Ohio, who is on the environment committee, said he will review the bill introduced by the two Democrats but sounded a skeptical note as he said that “the devil is in the details. Climate change must be addressed in a bipartisan way—it must incentivize the clean-energy technologies we need now and in the future without driving jobs overseas and further damaging our economy.”

Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.)

E&E News The American people are becoming very wary – and some are even frightened – by the persistence of these comprehensive plans to try to change the whole country. The Boxer-Kerry bill is a combination of fancy, complicated words that means high energy costs that will drive American jobs overseas.

Alexander These are fancy, complicated words for high-cost energy that sends jobs overseas looking for cheap energy. Instead, we should take practical steps to produce low-cost, clean, carbon-free energy and create jobs. Specifically, we should build 100 new nuclear plants, electrify half our cars and trucks, expand exploration offshore for American natural gas and oil, and double funding for energy research and development.

John Barrasso (R-Wyo.)

Mother Jones Barrasso, meanwhile, was all over the map. He tried to change the subject in response to a question about whether he believed climate change is real, then rambled on about how he’s talked to some people who are skeptical of anthropogenic warming before citing an experimental carbon-capture project in Wyoming to “lower and to capture and sequester carbon dioxide.” Nevertheless, he eventually concluded: “I don’t believe it is a problem at this point.”

Kit Bond (R-Mo.)

E&E News It’s hard to believe that Kerry-Boxer is worse than the other California-Massachusetts bill.

Mother Jones None of the farmers I have talked to in Missouri have expressed concerns about human-caused global climate change. We have seen in Missouri the benefits of the cooling that started in ‘98. We’ve had ample rain. We are right now worrying about making sure the growing season is long enough.”

Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas)

The Age This is not the time to be adding costs.

E&E News We have a positive plan, and that is more nuclear. It is time for us to look at the real answers to green energy and have something positive that is not going to be a further burden on American families.

Jim Inhofe (R-Ok.)

E&E News I don’t think there are too many people that want to go back, particularly some of the newly elected Democrats, go back home and say, ‘Aren’t you proud of me? I voted for the largest tax increase in American history.’

E&E News All of these participants, these are Republicans, there are moderate and conservative Republicans, we didn’t say anything about the science in this thing. Nonetheless, it’s the economics. It can’t be denied that this would be the largest tax increase in the history of America.

Mother Jones We’ve asked that question of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, and the answer is no. Their feeling is that God is still up there, we go through cycles, and there’s not that strong of a relationship between anthropogenic gases and climate change.

Mike Johanns (R-Neb.)

Johanns This bill is an assault on agriculture. It is to the left of Speaker Pelosi and to the left of the President. It will lead to higher taxes, higher energy costs, a tighter squeeze on disposable income, more lost jobs and lower standards of living. For agriculture, the costs are real and the benefits are theoretical—our country’s heartland is in the crosshairs of this national energy tax.

John McCain (R-Ariz.)

National Journal The bill introduced Wednesday by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., has “nothing about nuclear power,” McCain complained in the interview, which was part of the “First Draft of History” forum sponsored by The Atlantic and the Aspen Institute. “It’s the left-wing environmental organizations that are not allowing us to move forward with nuclear power.” He noted that France generates roughly 80 percent of its power from nuclear energy. “So, what are we doing up here? Nothing,” the senator scoffed. “To me, that is an offense to my intellect and what we need to do to” address climate change.

Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska)

Mother Jones We must determine how to balance environmental progress with economic growth. Our economy is already struggling – now is not the time to enact a bill that impose financial burdens that extent of which we don’t know for sure.

Pat Roberts (R-Kan.)

Roberts Just as in the House, members of coastal states in California and Massachusetts introduced legislation that will be harmful to Kansans. The latest rendition of a cap-and-tax bill raises the price of gasoline, diesel, fertilizer, natural gas, and coal. If this bill were to pass, Kansans, and all Americans, including those in big cities that depend on the food and fiber we grow, are likely to see an increase in their utility bill, transportation costs and basic consumer goods. As a member of the Senate Agriculture and Senate Finance Committees, I will continue to fight against such proposals that ship jobs overseas, ration domestic energy and result in greater government bureaucracy. It is not in the best interests of the United States to unilaterally undertake mandatory carbon reductions until developing countries like China, India and Brazil agree to the same.

John Thune (R-S.Dak.)

E&E News I think a lot of this is Congress trying to reorganize big parts of our economy.

Roger Wicker

Charleston Daily Mail Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., called the Democratic bill a “cap and trade scheme” that “would suppress our economic recovery, cost jobs across our economy and result in higher prices on everything from energy to food for every single American.”

Ben Nelson 'Cannot Support' Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs Act 10

Posted by Laura Sanders Thu, 01 Oct 2009 12:10:00 GMT

Following the release of the Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act yesterday, Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) called the bill “a disappointing step in the wrong direction.”

Hill Heat has learned that Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) shares this view.

Nelson’s energy and environmental director Erick Lutt told Hill Heat in a telephone interview that while the Senator had not finished going over the entire bill, or made an official statement, Nelson “cannot support” Kerry-Boxer.

When asked if Nelson would join Republicans in a filibuster against climate legislation, Lutt said “it depends on what ends up in the bill.” Upon further questioning, Lutt admitted that Nelson standing with the GOP in a filibuster wasn’t “beyond possibility.”

Senators Arlen Specter (D-Penn.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), though uncommitted on Kerry-Boxer, have pledged to fight a Republican filibuster.

“I am not committed to cap-and-trade under any circumstance,” Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) told Roll Call, however.

“It’s a difficult issue,” added Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.).

Text of Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, The Senate's Cap-and-Trade Climate Legislation

Posted by Brad Johnson Thu, 01 Oct 2009 11:11:00 GMT

Download the full text here.

A SUMMARY OF THE CLEAN ENERGY JOBS AND AMERICAN POWER ACT

AS INTRODUCED September 30, 2009

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE; TABLE OF CONTENTS. This Act may be cited as the “Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act”.

Sections 2. Findings. Describes the impacts of climate change and the benefits of transitioning to a clean energy economy.

Section 3. Economywide Emission Reduction Goals. Establishes targets for reducing global warming pollution.

Section 4. Definitions.

DIVISION A—AUTHORIZATIONS FOR POLLUTION REDUCTION, TRANSITION, AND ADAPTATION

Section 101. Structure of Act. Describes the authorizations included in the bill, including those that receive an allocation of allowances under Division B.

TITLE I—GREENHOUSE GAS REDUCTION PROGRAMS

Subtitle A—Clean Transportation

Section 111. Emission Standards. Amends Title VIII of the Clean Air Act to require EPA to establish greenhouse gas emission standards for new heavy-duty vehicles and engines, and for nonroad vehicles and engines.

Section 112. Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions Through Transportation Efficiency. Requires the EPA Administrator, in consultation with the Secretary of Transportation, to establish national greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, as well as standardized emission models and related methodologies to be used by States and metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs).

Section 113. Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Program Grants. Requires the Secretary of Transportation to provide grants to States and MPOs to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector.

Section 114. SmartWay Transportation Efficiency Program. Amends Title VIII of the Clean Air Act to expand an existing EPA loan and fuel saving technology deployment program, the SmartWay Transport Partnership, to help American truckers upgrade to more fuel efficient and less polluting vehicles.

Subtitle B—Carbon Capture and Sequestration

Section 121. National Strategy. Requires the EPA Administrator, in consultation with the heads of other relevant Federal agencies, to submit to Congress a report setting forth a unified and comprehensive strategy to address the key legal and regulatory barriers to the commercial-scale deployment of carbon capture and storage.

Section 122. Regulations for Geological Sequestration Sites. Amends the Clean Air Act to require the Administrator to establish a coordinated approach to the certification and permitting of sites where geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide will occur. Requires the EPA Administrator to promulgate regulations to minimize the risk of escape to the atmosphere of carbon dioxide injected for geologic sequestration and details the requirements of such regulations.

Section 123. Studies and Reports. Requires the Administrator to establish a multi-stakeholder task force and conduct a study of the legal framework for geologic sequestration sites and activities.

Section 124. Performance Standards for Coal-fueled Power Plants. Amends the Clean Air Act to establish performance standards for new coal-fueled power plants permitted in 2009 or thereafter. Describes eligibility criteria, applicable emission standards, and the schedule upon which such standards must be met. Plants permitted in 2020 or thereafter are required to meet specified standards once they begin operations. Plants permitted from 2009-2020 are required to meet the specified standard within four years after certain technology deployment criteria are met but no later than 2025.

Section 125. Carbon Capture and Sequestration Demonstration and Early Deployment Program. Establishes a program for the demonstration and early deployment of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies. Authorizes fossil fuel-based electricity distribution utilities to hold a referendum on the establishment of a Carbon Storage Research Corporation. If approved by entities representing two-thirds of the nation’s fossil fuel-based delivered electricity, the Corporation would be operated as a division or affiliate of the Electric Power Research Institute and would assess fees totaling approximately $1 billion annually for ten years, to be used by the Corporation to fund the large-scale demonstration of CCS technologies in order to accelerate the commercial availability of those technologies.

Subtitle C—Nuclear and Advanced Technologies

Section 131. Findings and Policy. Provides Congressional findings related to the role of nuclear power as an energy source. Establishes a policy of promoting a safe and clean nuclear energy industry, through reductions in financial and technical barriers to construction and operations incentives for the development of a well-trained workforce and the growth of safe domestic nuclear and nuclear-related industries.

Section 132. Nuclear Worker Training. Establishes a grant program, administered by EPA, to provide assistance for training of workers that will be essential for the growth of safe domestic nuclear and nuclear-related industries.

Section 133. Nuclear Safety and Waste Management Programs. Establishes programs to provide grants and other assistance for research projects that seek to develop new technologies for nuclear waste management.

Subtitle D—Water Efficiency

Section 141. WaterSense. Authorizes EPA’s WaterSense program, a voluntary program for labeling water-efficient high-performance products and services. Provides the same type of labeling for water-efficient products and services as currently in place for energy-efficient products under the Energy Star program.

Section 142. Federal Procurement of Water-efficient Products. Directs Federal agencies to make cost-effective water-efficient procurement decisions by purchasing WaterSense or Federal Energy Management Program certified products whenever possible.

Section 143. State Residential Water Efficiency and Conservation Incentives Program. Authorizes grants to eligible entities for programs offering incentives to consumers who purchase and install water-efficient products and services such as those labeled under WaterSense.

Subtitle E—Miscellaneous

Section 151. Office of Consumer Advocacy. Establishes an Office of Consumer Advocacy within the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to identify and defend the consumer interest in proceedings before the Commission.

Section 152. Clean Technology Business Competition Grant Program. Provides for grants by EPA to nonprofit organizations for competitive programs supporting start-up businesses in the areas of energy efficiency, renewable energy, air quality, water quality and conservation, transportation, smart grid, green buildings, and waste management.

Section 153. Product Carbon Disclosure Program. Requires EPA to conduct a study regarding effectiveness of a voluntary product carbon disclosure and labeling program, to implement such a program based on the results of the study, and to report to Congress.

Section 154. State Recycling Programs. Requires EPA to establish a state recycling program and develop analyses and methodologies to optimize reductions of greenhouse gas emissions through recycling. Provides that funds distributed by States under the Act to carry out recycling programs be allocated in minimum proportions among county and municipal programs, eligible recycling facilities, and eligible manufacturing facilities.

Section 155. Supplemental Agriculture and Forestry Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Renewable Energy Program._ Establishes a new program to provide assistance to agriculture and forestry landowners for projects that reduce greenhouse gases or sequester carbon. Establishes a research program for the development and deployment of renewable energy technologies in the agricultural and forestry sectors.

Section 156. Economic Development Climate Change Fund. Authorizes the Economic Development Administration to provide up to $50 million per year in technical assistance and grants for projects that promote green economic development in distressed communities.

Section 157. Study of Risk-based Programs Addressing Vulnerable Areas. Requires preparation of a report within two years assessing federal pre-disaster mitigation, emergency response and flood insurance policies and programs that affect areas vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, with strategies and recommendations.

Subtitle F—Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Section 161. Renewable Energy. Directs EPA to establish a program to provide grants and other assistance to renewable energy projects in states with mandatory renewable portfolio standards.

Section 162. Advanced Biofuels. Directs EPA to establish a program to provide grants for research and development into advanced biofuels.

Section 163. Energy Efficiency in Building Codes. Requires the EPA Administrator, or such other agency head as the President designates, to set a national goal for improvement in building energy efficiency, promulgate a rule establishing national energy efficiency building codes for residential and commercial buildings, and regularly report to Congress on progress in improving building efficiency.

Section 164. Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance. Establishes the Retrofit for Energy and Environmental Performance Program to provide allowances to States to conduct cost-effective building retrofits. Provides that States may use local governments or other agencies or entities to carry out the work and may use flexible forms of financial assistance providing up to 50% of the costs of retrofits, with funding increasing in proportion to efficiency achievement. Provides additional assistance for the retrofitting of historic buildings. Directs the Administrator of EPA to establish standards and guidelines for the program, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy. Requires States to offer preferential access to at least 10% of dedicated program funding to public and assisted housing. Nothing in this section would require a homeowner to audit or retrofit their home to ensure that it meets building code requirements.

Subtitle G—Emission Reductions From Public Transportation Vehicles

Sections 171-173. Amends the Clean Air Act to allow State and local governments to set fuel efficiency standards for emissions from taxi cabs at least as stringent as applicable Federal standards.

Subtitle H—Clean Energy and Natural Gas

Section 181. Clean Energy and Accelerated Emission Reduction Program. Authorizes EPA to carry out a program to provide incentive payments for power generation projects that achieve reductions in greenhouse gases as compared to the electric utility sector average.

Section 182. Advanced Natural Gas Technologies. Authorizes EPA to carry out a program to provide grants for research and development of advanced technologies, including carbon capture and storage, that reduce greenhouse gas emissions from natural gas-fueled electricity generation facilities.

TITLE II—RESEARCH

Subtitle A—Energy Research

Section 201. Advanced Energy Research. Authorizes EPA to carry out a program to provide grants to support research and development on innovative energy technologies that reduce US dependence on foreign energy sources and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Subtitle B—Drinking Water Adaptation, Technology, Education, and Research

Section 211. Effects of Climate Change on Drinking Water Utilities. Requires EPA to establish and provide funding for a research program, to be conducted through a nonprofit water research foundation and sponsored by drinking water utilities, to assist utilities in adapting to the effects of climate change.

TITLE III—TRANSITION AND ADAPTATION

Subtitle A—Green Jobs and Worker Transition

Section 301. Clean Energy Curriculum Development Grants. Authorizes the Secretary of Education to award grants, on a competitive basis, to eligible partnerships to develop programs of study focused on emerging careers and jobs in the fields of clean energy, renewable energy, energy efficiency, climate change mitigation, and climate change adaptation.

_Section 302. Development of Information and Resources Clearinghouse for Vocational Education and Job Training in Renewable Energy Sectors._ Requires the Secretary of Labor, in collaboration with the Secretary of Energy and the Secretary of Education, to develop an internet-based information and resources clearinghouse to aid career and technical education and job training programs for the renewable energy sectors.

Section 303. Green Construction Careers Demonstration Project. Requires the Secretary of Labor, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, to establish a Green Construction Careers demonstration project to promote careers and quality employment practices in the green construction sector and to advance efficiency and performance on construction projects related to the Act.

Part 2—Climate Change Worker Adjustment Assistance

Sections 311- 313. Establishes a program pursuant to which any worker displaced as a result of Title VII of the Clean Air Act would be entitled to 156 weeks of income supplement, 80% of their monthly health care premium, up to $1,500 for job search assistance, up to $1,500 for moving assistance, and additional employment services for skills assessment, job counseling, training, and other services. Payments under the program cannot exceed the proceeds from the auction of allowances set aside for this purpose.

Subtitle B—International Climate Change Programs

Section 321. Strategic Interagency Board on International Climate Investment. Directs the President to establish the Strategic Interagency Board on International Climate Investment, composed of the Secretary of State, the Administrator of EPA, and other Federal officials, to assess, monitor and evaluate the progress and contributions of U.S. Government entities in supporting financing for international climate change activities.

Section 322. Emission Reductions from Reduced Deforestation. Amends Title VII of the Clean Air Act by inserting Part E, which includes the following new sections:

Part E—Supplemental Emission Reductions

Sections 751-752. Definitions and Purposes. Defines forest carbon activities. States the purposes to develop and improve mitigation policies and actions that reduce deforestation and forest degradation or conserve or restore forest ecosystems in developing countries.

Section 753. Emission Reductions from Reduced Deforestation. Directs the Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (U.S. AID), in consultation with the Administrator of EPA, the Secretary of Agriculture, and the heads of any other appropriate agencies to establish a program to build capacity in developing countries to reduce emissions from deforestation.

Section 323. International Clean Energy Deployment Program. Directs the Secretary of State, in consultation with an interagency group designated by the President, to establish a program that supports activities in developing countries contributing to substantial, measurable, reportable and verifiable reductions, sequestrations or avoidance of greenhouse gas emissions.

Section 324. International Climate Change Adaptation and Global Security Program. Directs the Secretary of State, in consultation with the Administrator of U.S. AID, the Secretary of the Treasury, and EPA to establish a program to provide assistance to the most vulnerable developing countries to protect and promote the interests of the United States.

Section 325. Evaluation and Reports. Directs the Strategic Interagency Board to implement a system to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of assistance provided under this Act. Also directs the Board to prepare an annual report to Congress describing steps agencies have taken and the progress made toward accomplishing the objectives of this part, and the ramifications of any potentially destabilizing impacts climate change may have on the interests of the United States.

Section 326. Report on Climate Action of Major Economies. Requires the Secretary of State, working with the Strategic Interagency Board, to prepare annually an interagency report on the climate change and energy polices of the top five largest greenhouse gas emitting countries that are not members of the Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development. Requires the report to provide Congress and the American public with a better understanding of the actions these countries are taking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to identify how the United States can assist these countries in achieving these reductions.

Subtitle C—Adapting to Climate Change

PART 1—Domestic Adaptation

Subpart A—National Climate Change Adaptation Program

Sections 341-342. National Climate Change Adaptation Program and Services. Requires the President to establish a National Climate Change Adaptation Program to increase the overall effectiveness of Federal climate change adaptation efforts, and to establish within the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration a National Climate Service to develop and disseminate climate information, data, forecasts, and warnings at national and regional scales.

Subpart B—Public Health and Climate Change

Sections 351 – 356. Public Health Adaptation Policy, Action Plans and Advisory Board. States the sense of Congress that the Federal Government should take all means and measures to prepare for and respond to the public health impacts of climate change. Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to prepare and implement a national strategic action plan to assist health professionals in preparing for and responding to the impacts of climate change on public health, with disease surveillance, research, communications, education, and training programs, supported by a science advisory board and a needs assessment.

Subpart C—Climate Change Safeguards for Natural Resources Conservation

Sections 361-365. Purposes, Policy, Definitions, Adaptation Panel. States the policy of the Federal Government to use all practicable means and measures to assist natural resources to adapt to climate change. Establishes a Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Panel, chaired by the White House Council on Environmental Quality, as a forum for interagency coordination on natural resources adaptation.

Section 366. Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. Requires the Adaptation Panel to develop a strategy for making natural resources more resilient to the impacts of climate change and ocean acidification. The strategy is to assess likely impacts to natural resources, strategies for helping wildlife adapt, and specific actions that Federal agencies should take.

Section 367. Natural Resources Adaptation Science and Information. Establishes a process through National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Geological Survey National Global Warming and Wildlife Science Center, to provide technical assistance, conduct research, and furnish decision tools, monitoring, and strategies for adaptation.

Section 368. Federal Natural Resource Agency Adaptation Plans. Requires Federal agencies to develop natural resource adaptation plans, consistent with the National Adaptation Strategy, including prioritized goals and a schedule for implementation of adaptation programs within their respective jurisdictions.

Section 369. State Natural Resources Adaptation Plans. Requires States to develop Natural Resources Adaptation Plans as a condition for receiving funds under the programs in this subtitle.

Section 370. Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Account. Provides that allowances devoted to state natural resources adaptation be distributed to the States, with 32.5% going to State wildlife agencies and 6% to State coastal agencies. Funds placed in the Natural Resources Climate Change Adaptation Fund are to be distributed to Federal agencies: 17% to the Department of the Interior (DOI) for endangered species, bird, and Fish and Wildlife Service programs, wildlife refuges, and the Bureau of Reclamation; 5% to DOI for cooperative grant programs; 3% to DOI for tribal programs; 12% to the Land and Water Conservation Fund (1/6 to DOI for competitive grants, 1/3 for land acquisition under §7 of the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act, 1/6 to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for the Forestry Assistance Act, and 1/3 to the USDA for land acquisition,); 5% to USDA for the Forest Service; 7.5% to EPA for estuaries and freshwater ecosystems; 5% to the Army Corps of Engineers for freshwater ecosystems; and 7% to the Secretary of Commerce for coastal and marine ecosystems. All funds must be used for adaptation activities, and States shall ensure that a minimum of 10% of project costs are paid by non-Federal sources.

Section 371. National Wildlife Habitat and Corridors Information Program. Establishes a program in the DOI to support States and tribes in the development of a geographical information system (GIS) of databases of fish and wildlife habitats and corridors. Facilitates the use of database tools in wildlife management programs.

Section 372. Additional Provisions Regarding Indian Tribes. Clarifies that nothing in this subpart amends Federal trust responsibilities to Indian tribes or exempts information on tribal sacred sites or cultural activities from the Freedom of Information Act, and clarifies that DOI may apply the provisions of the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act as appropriate.

Subpart D—Additional Climate Change Adaptation Programs

Section 381. Water System Mitigation and Adaptation Partnerships. Requires the EPA Administrator to establish a water system mitigation and adaptation partnership program for distribution of funds under the Act by States as grants for water system adaptation projects. Identifies eligible parties and uses. Provides for a competitive process, prioritizing applications for water systems at the greatest and most immediate risk of facing significant climate-related negative impacts, and establishes requirements and goals to be met by States in awarding grants.

Section 382. Flood Control, Protection, Prevention and Response. Requires the Administrator to establish a program for distribution of funds by States under the Act for flood control, protection, prevention and response projects. Establishes eligible uses, objectives and priorities. Section 383. Wildfire. Establishes a program to provide grants for education programs to raise awareness of homeowners and citizens about wildland fire protection practices, including FireWise or similar programs, training programs for local firefighters on wildland firefighting techniques and approaches, equipment acquisition to facilitate wildland fire preparedness, implementation of a community wildfire protection plan, and forest restoration that accomplishes fuels reduction.

Section 384. Coastal and Great Lakes State Adaptation Program. Requires the EPA Administrator to distribute annually funding for coastal State economic protection under the Act pursuant to a prescribed formula, for projects and activities addressing the impacts of climate change in coastal watersheds.

DIVISION B—POLLUTION REDUCTION AND INVESTMENT

Title I—Reducing Global Warming Pollution

Subtitle A—Reducing Global Warming Pollution

Sections 101-103 and Section 111. Amends the Clean Air Act to add Title VII to establish a declining limit on global warming pollution and to spur private investment in technologies to reduce global warming pollution.

Title VII—GLOBAL WARMING POLLUTION REDUCTION AND INVESTMENT PROGRAM

Part A—Global Warming Pollution Reduction Goals and Targets

Section 701-702. Findings, Economywide Reduction Goals. States that the goals of Title VII and Title VIII are to reduce economy-wide global warming pollution to 97% of 2005 levels by 2012, 80% by 2020, 58% by 2030, and 17% by 2050.

Section 703. Reduction Targets for Specified Sources. Requires that the regulations issued under Title VII reduce emissions of covered sources to 97% of 2005 levels by 2012, 80% by 2020, 58% by 2030, and 17% by 2050.

Section 704. Supplemental Pollution Reductions. Directs the EPA Administrator to achieve additional low-cost reductions in global warming pollution equal to an additional 10 percentage points of reductions from U.S. emissions in 2005 by using a small portion of the emissions allowances to provide incentives to reduce emissions from international deforestation.

Section 705. Review and Program Recommendations. Directs the Administrator to submit a report to Congress every four years that includes an analysis of the latest science relevant to climate change, an analysis of capacity to monitor and verify greenhouse gas reductions, an analysis of worldwide and domestic progress in reducing global warming pollution, and additional measures that can be taken.

Section 706. National Academy Review. Directs the EPA Administrator to commission reports from the National Academy of Sciences every four years, to evaluate the most recent EPA report submitted under Section 705, and provide recommendations for actions to avoid dangerous climate change.

Section 707. Presidential Response and Recommendations. Directs the President to use existing authority to respond to recommendations in the reports issued under sections 705 and 706. If the National Academy review confirms that further emission reductions are needed, either domestically or globally, the President must submit a report to Congress recommending steps (including legislation) to achieve those reductions.

Part B—Designation and Registration of Greenhouse Gases

Section 711. Designation of Greenhouse Gases. Establishes a list of greenhouse gases regulated under this title: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) emitted as a byproduct, perfluorocarbons, and nitrogen trifluoride. The EPA Administrator may designate additional anthropogenic greenhouse gases by rule.

Section 712. Carbon Dioxide Equivalent Value of Greenhouse Gases. Lists carbon dioxide equivalents for each gas. Requires periodic review of equivalence values by the Administrator.

Section 713. Greenhouse Gas Registry. Directs EPA to establish a Federal greenhouse gas registry and comprehensive reporting system for greenhouse gas emissions.

Section 714. Perfluorocarbon Regulation. Provides the Administrator the discretion to regulate the production of perfluorocarbon either under the emissions limits established under Section 722 or through a combination of best available control technology combined with a mandatory phase-down schedule.

Part C—Program Rules

Section 721. Emission Allowances. Establishes an annual tonnage limit on greenhouse gas emissions from specified activities. Directs the EPA Administrator to establish allowances equal to the tonnage limit for each year (with one allowance representing the permission to emit one ton of greenhouse gases, measured in tons of carbon dioxide equivalent).

Section 722. Prohibition of Excess Emissions. Prohibits covered entities from emitting or having attributable greenhouse gases in excess of their allowable emissions level, which is determined by the number of emission allowances and offset credits they hold on the specified date. Electricity generators, refiners and importers of petroleum-based and other specified liquid fuels, fluorinated gas manufacturers, and emitters of nitrogen trifluoride are covered entities starting with emissions in 2012. Specified industrial sources are covered starting with emissions in 2014. Local distribution companies that deliver natural gas are covered starting with emissions in 2016.

Allows covered entities to use a total of up to two billion tons of domestic and international offset credits in lieu of allowances to demonstrate compliance for a portion of their emissions. The ability to use these offsets is divided pro rata among all covered entities. Of the two billion tons of offset credits, ¾ may be derived from domestic offsets and ¼ from international offsets. If the Administrator determines that an insufficient number of domestic offsets are available, the number of international offsets available may be increased by 750 million metric tons. Starting with the 2018 compliance obligation, covered entities using offset credits must submit five tons of international offset credits for every four tons of emissions being offset.

Allows the use of term offset credits in lieu of domestic offset credits to demonstrate temporary compliance with the Act. When the crediting term of a term offset credit expires, the covered entity must either submit a term offset credit to continue to demonstrate compliance temporarily or submit an allowance or domestic offset credit to demonstrate final compliance. Covered entities may also submit an international emission allowance or compensatory allowance in place of a domestic emission allowance.

Section 723. Penalty for Noncompliance. Establishes penalties for parties that fail to comply with the requirements of Title VII.

Section 724. Trading. Clarifies that Title VII as established by this section does not restrict who can hold an allowance, nor does it restrict the purchase, sale, or other transactions involving allowances.

Section 725. Banking and Borrowing. Permits unlimited banking of allowances for use during future compliance years. Establishes a two-year rolling compliance period by allowing covered entities to borrow an unlimited number of allowances from one year into the future. Covered entities may also satisfy up to 15% of their compliance obligations by submitting emission allowances with vintage years 2 to 5 years in the future, but must pay an 8% premium (in allowances) to do so.

Section 726. Market Stability Reserve. Directs the Administrator to create a “market stability reserve” of emission allowances that will be auctioned at a minimum set price ($28/ton in 2012) that increases annually. The auction of additional allowances will help contain the costs of meeting the annual greenhouse gas limits and minimize price fluctuations. The “market stability reserve” will be established by setting aside a number of allowances from each year’s limit. Following an auction, the reserve will be refilled through the purchase and retirement of offset credits.

Section 727. Permits. Clarifies the obligations of operators of stationary sources under the Clean Air Act’s Title V operating permit program under the newly-established Title VII program. Section 728. International Emission Allowances. Establishes criteria that must be met before allowances from foreign programs can be used for compliance by covered entities.

Part D – Offsets

Section 731. Offsets Integrity Advisory Board. Establishes an independent Offsets Integrity Advisory Board composed of scientists and others with relevant expertise, to review the offsets program and provide recommendations to the President on: offset project eligibility, scientific uncertainty, quantification methodologies and related issues.

Section 732. Establishment of Offsets Program. Directs the President to establish an offsets program and requires that regulations ensure offsets are verifiable, additional, and permanent.

Section 733 Eligible Project Types. Requires the President to establish and update a list of offset project types that are eligible under the program, taking into account the recommendations of the Offsets Integrity Advisory Board. Projects types for consideration include fugitive methane emissions from coal mines, landfills, and oil and gas distribution facilities; agricultural, grassland, and rangeland sequestration and management practices; and changes in carbon stocks attributed to land use change and forestry activities.

Section 734. Requirements for Offset Projects. Requires that for each offset project type, the President establish standardized methodologies for: determining additionality; establishing activity baselines; measuring performance; and accounting for and mitigating potential leakage. Establishes requirements regarding the permanence of offset projects and crediting periods, and procedures to address reversals, including penalties.

Section 735. Approval of Offset Projects. Establishes procedures for approval of offset projects, including reporting and record-keeping requirements and a requirement that an offset project developer certify the accuracy of information provided in an approval petition.

Section 736. Verification of Offset Projects. Directs the President to establish requirements for the verification of offset project performance, and requires that verification reports be prepared by accredited third-party verifiers. Allows the President to revoke the accreditation of any third-party verifier that the President finds fails to maintain professional qualifications or to avoid a conflict of interest Section 737. Issuance of Offset Credits. Establishes procedures for the issuance of offset credits and directs the President to issue offset credits only if the emissions reduction or sequestration has already occurred and other specified conditions are met.

Section 738. Audits. Requires the President to conduct, on an ongoing basis, random audits of offset projects, offset credits, and practices of third-party verifiers. Allows the President to delegate this responsibility to State governments.

Section 739. Program Review and Revision. Requires the periodic evaluation and updating of specified areas and components of the offsets program.

Section 740. Early Offset Supply. To ensure a supply of offset credits in the early years of the program, allows for the issuance of offset credits for offsets from State or other programs that meet specified criteria. Limits the issuance of offset credits under this section to reductions that occur between January 1, 2009, and three years after enactment or the effective date of Federal offset regulations, whichever is sooner.

Section 741. Environmental Considerations. Requires additional environmental considerations for forestry and other land management-related offset projects.

Section 742. Trading. Provides that the trading provisions applicable to allowances are also applicable to offset credits.

Section 743. Office of Offsets Integrity. Establishes an Office of Offsets Integrity within the Department of Justice to: supervise and coordinate investigations and civil enforcement of the carbon offsets program established in this part; ensure that Federal law relating to civil enforcement of the carbon offsets program is used to the fullest extent authorized; and ensure that adequate resources are made available for the investigation and enforcement of civil violations of the carbon offsets program.

Section 744. International Offset Credits. Allows the President to issue international offset credits for activities that take place in developing countries. Requires that all international offset credits meet the criteria established for all offsets under sections 732-742, as well as the requirements specific to international offsets established under this section. Requires that the U.S. be a party to a bilateral or multilateral agreement or arrangement with the country where an offset activity would take place before any international offset credits can be issued. Establishes procedures and requirements regarding the issuance of international offset credits for activities that reduce deforestation.

Section 102. Definitions. Defines key terms for Titles VII and VIII of the Clean Air Act.

Section 103. Offset Reporting Requirements. Amends Section 114 of the Clean Air Act to require any person who is an offset project developer to establish and maintain records for a period of not less than the offset project crediting period plus five years.

Subtitle B—Disposition of Allowances

Section 111. Disposition of Allowances for Global Warming Pollution Reduction Program. Provides for emission allowances to be distributed for three primary goals: to protect consumers from energy price increases, to assist industry in the transition to clean energy, and to spur energy efficiency and the deployment of clean energy technology. Allocates allowances to prevent deforestation and support national and international adaptation efforts and for other purposes.

Part H—Disposition of Allowances

Section 771. Allocation of Emission Allowances. Provides for allocation and auction of allowances.

Section 772. Electricity Consumers. Directs distribution of allowances allocated for the benefit of consumers to local electricity distribution companies (LDCs), whose retail rates are regulated by States or other entities. Requires half of the allowances to be distributed based on historic emissions and half based on retail sales, but prohibits any electricity LDC from receiving allowances whose value exceeds the LDC’s direct and indirect costs of complying with this Title. Requires that these allowances be used exclusively for the benefit of the LDC’s retail ratepayers, and prohibits the Administrator from releasing an LDC’s allowances until after a ratemaking or similar proceeding has been conducted regarding the appropriate use of the allowances.

Directs distribution of allowances for merchant coal generators and for certain generators with long-term power purchase agreements, and to small LDCs to support renewable electricity deployment, energy efficiency programs, and consumer assistance for low-income ratepayers. Requires the Administrator to conduct an audit of LDCs receiving allowances under this section to ensure that emission allowances have been used exclusively for the benefit of retail ratepayers.

Every three years, the U.S. Government Accountability Office is required to report on the integrity of the allowance program, and the Administrator is required to submit to Congress an evaluation of the disposition of emission allowances.

Section 773. Natural Gas Consumers. Directs the Administrator on how to distribute the allowances allocated for the benefit of consumers to local natural gas distribution companies, whose retail rates are regulated by States or other entities.

Section 774. Home Heating Oil and Propane Consumers. Directs the Administrator on how to distribute allowances to States for programs to benefit residential and commercial users of home heating oil, propane, and kerosene.

Section 775. Domestic Fuel Production. Directs the Administrator on how to distribute allowances to domestic refiners, including small business refiners.

Section 776. Consumer Protection. Dedicates proceeds from the sales of allowances to offset electricity cost impacts to low and moderate-income consumers and to provide relief to consumers and others affected by the Act.

Section 777. Exchange for State-Issued Allowances. Provides for fair compensation and exchange of allowances issued by the State of California, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the Western Climate Initiative prior to commencement of federal program.

Section 778. Auction Procedures. Establishes single-round, sealed-bid, uniform-price auction procedures, which may be modified by the Administrator. Provides that a percentage of allowances will be made available for small business refiners to purchase for compliance for that year at the average auction price. Section 779. Auctioning Allowances for Other Entities. Establishes rules by which the Administrator may auction allowances on behalf of other entities.

Section 780. Commercial Deployment of Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies. Directs the EPA Administrator to establish an incentive program to distribute allowances to support the commercial deployment of CCS technologies in both electric power generation and industrial applications. Establishes eligibility requirements for facilities to receive allowances based on the number of tons of carbon dioxide sequestered. The allowance disbursement program is structured to provide greater incentives for facilities to deploy CCS technologies early in the program and for facilities to capture and sequester larger amounts of carbon dioxide.

Section 781. Oversight of Allocations. Requires the Comptroller General to prepare biannual reviews of the programs administered by the Federal Government that distribute emission allowances or funds from Federal auctions of allowances.

Section 782. Early Action Recognition. Provides allowances for projects and activities that sequestered carbon or reduced greenhouse gas emissions prior to the beginning of the Pollution Reduction and Investment Program established in this Title.

Section 783. Establishment of Deficit Reduction Fund. Establishes a deficit reduction fund in the U.S. Treasury.

Subtitle C—Additional Greenhouse Gas Standards

Section 121. Greenhouse Gas Standards. Establishes Title VIII of the Clean Air Act to achieve additional greenhouse gas reductions outside of Title VII.

Title VIII—ADDITIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS STANDARDS

Section 801. Definitions. Defines terms used in Title VIII.

Part A—Stationary Source Standards

Section 811. Standards of Performance. Directs the Administrator to delay until January 1, 2020 the establishment of standards of performance under section 111 of the Clean Air Act for stationary sources whose emissions are not subject to the requirements of Section 721 and are eligible as offset projects under Section 733.

Section 122. HFC Regulation. Amends Title VI of the Clean Air Act by adding a new section 619 to phase down the consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), many of which are extremely potent greenhouse gases, under a separate limit and reduction schedule. Using a market-based regulatory approach, requires HFC consumption to be phased-down to 15% of the baseline by 2032. Requires allowances to be distributed through a combination of annual auctions and non-auction sales. Allows offset credits for destruction of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs).

Section 123. Black Carbon. Directs the Administrator to conduct a study of black carbon emissions, report on existing efforts to reduce domestic black carbon pollution, and in coordination with the Secretary of State, to report to Congress on current and potential future assistance to foreign nations to help reduce black carbon pollution. Includes in Title III of the Clean Air Act a provision directing the Administrator to use existing authority to achieve further reductions.

Section 124. States. Amends section 116 of the Clean Air Act to preserve States’ existing authority to adopt and enforce standards or limitations on air pollution under the Clean Air Act, including greenhouse gas emissions.

Section 125. State Programs. Includes in Title VIII of the Clean Air Act section 861, barring States from implementing or enforcing a Comprehensive Greenhouse Gas Emission Limitation program to control greenhouse gas emissions covered by Title VII. The moratorium begins in 2012 or 9 months after the first auction, whichever is earlier, and continues through the year 2017. Includes section 862, which authorizes the Administrator to make grants to air pollution control agencies under section 105 of the Clean Air Act to implement global warming programs established under the Clean Air Act.

Section 126. Enforcement. Amends section 307 of the Clean Air Act to provide that in ruling on a petition for review under the Clean Air Act, the court may remand without overturning an action of the Administrator under specified circumstances. Sets deadline for the Administrator to respond to a court remand and take final action.

Section 127. Conforming Amendments. Provides for conforming amendments to Clean Air Act enforcement and administrative provisions to incorporate Titles VII and VIII.

Section 128. Davis-Bacon Compliance. Requires recipients of emission allowances or funding under this Act to provide reasonable assurances that all laborers and mechanics employed by contractors and subcontractors on projects funded directly by or assisted in whole or in part by the Federal Government pursuant to this Act will be paid at least prevailing wages as determined by the Secretary of Labor in accordance with what is commonly known as the Davis-Bacon Act (subchapter IV of chapter 31 of title 40, United States Code). Excludes application of these provisions to retrofitting of residential buildings (apart from large apartment buildings) and smaller nonresidential buildings.

Subtitle D—Carbon Market Assurance

Sections 131. Carbon Market Assurance. States the sense of the Senate that there shall be a carbon market oversight program to provide for effective and comprehensive market oversight and enforcement that lowers systemic risk and protects consumers.

Subtitle E—Ensuring Real Reductions in Industrial Emissions

Section 141. Ensuring Real Reductions in Industrial Emissions. Creates a program within Title VII of the Clean Air Act, as established by this Act, to ensure real reductions in industrial greenhouse gas emissions through emission allowance rebates.

Part F—Ensuring Real Reductions in Industrial Emissions

Section 761. Purposes. Outlines purposes, including promoting a strong global effort to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and preventing an increase in greenhouse gas emissions in foreign countries as a result of compliance costs incurred under Title VII of the Clean Air Act.

_Section 762-764. Definitions, Eligible Industrial Sectors, Distribution of Emission Allowance Rebates._ Establishes a program that rebates emission allowances to eligible industrial sectors to compensate these sectors for costs incurred as a result of compliance with Title VII of the Clean Air Act, as added by this Act. Requires the Administrator to determine which sectors and subsectors should be eligible for rebates through a rulemaking based on an assessment of the energy and greenhouse gas intensity of each sector and the trade intensity of each sector.

Section 765. International Trade. States the sense of the Senate that there will be trade provisions, including a border measure that is consistent with international obligations of the United States and designed to work in conjunction with provisions that allocate allowances to energy-intensive and trade-exposed industries.

TITLE II—PROGRAM ALLOCATIONS

Section 201. Investment in Clean Vehicle Technology. Distributes emission allowances for development and demonstration of a national transportation low-emission energy plan; use of domestically-produced plug-in electric drive vehicles; and grants to reduce diesel engine emissions.

Section 202. State and Local Investment in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Distributes emission allowances to States, Indian tribes, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations, and renewable electricity generators for programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and conservation, and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy sources. States shall receive 62.5 percent of allowances distributed under this section, of which not less than 35 percent shall be used for specified energy efficiency programs and not less than two percent shall be used for thermal energy efficiency projects. States may also use their allocation allowances for other purposes including renewable energy programs, improvements in electricity transmission, cost-effective energy efficiency programs for end-use consumers, retrofits and housing investments, and smart grid development. States and metropolitan planning organizations shall receive 10 percent of the allowance allocations under this section for grants from the Secretary of Transportation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. Local governments shall receive 25 percent of allowance allocations under this section for Energy Efficiency Community Block Grants.

Section 203. Energy Efficiency in Building Codes. Distributes emission allowances according to the formula in Section 202 to update and implement building codes pursuant to Section 163 of Division A.

Section 204. Building Retrofit Program. Distributes emission allowances according to the formula in Section 202 to provide assistance for energy efficiency building retrofits pursuant to Section 164 of Division A.

Section 205. Energy Innovation Hubs. Distributes emission allowances for research and development of clean technologies. Allowances are distributed through regional energy innovation hubs.

Section 206. ARPA-E Research. Distributes emission allowances to qualified research institutions to achieve the goals of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) as described in section 5012© of the America COMPETES Act.

Section 207. International Clean Energy Deployment Program. Distributes emission allowances to provide assistance to developing countries for clean energy deployment pursuant to Section 323 of Division A.

Section 208. International Climate Change Adaptation and Global Security. Distributes emission allowances to provide assistance to developing countries for climate change adaptation pursuant to Section 324 of Division A.

Section 209. Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Worker Training. Provides emission allowances to the Secretary of Energy to carry out the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Worker Training program authorized in the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.

Section 210. Worker Transition. Provides emission allowances for worker transition assistance pursuant to the program established in Sections 311-313 of Division A.

Section 211. State Programs for Greenhouse Gas Reduction and Climate Adaptation. Distributes proceeds of emission allowances for implementation of projects, programs, or measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Ten percent (10%) of allowance proceeds are reserved for funding of coastal State economic protection programs pursuant to the program in Section 384 of Division A. At least one percent (1%) of allowance proceeds are reserved to support climate change response programs administered by Indian tribes. Fifty percent (50%) of the remaining proceeds are dedicated to transit grant programs. The remaining proceeds are allocated to fund State and local programs, including; grants to fund water systems mitigation and adaptation partnerships; flood control and response; recycling programs; adverse impacts on agriculture and ranching activities; and programs addressing air pollution and air quality. States and tribes are required to prepare Climate Change Response Plans governing uses of funds and to report on such uses in detail every two years.

Section 212. Climate Change Health Protection and Promotion Fund. Distributes proceeds of emission allowances for activities to prepare and respond to the impacts of climate change on public health pursuant to Sections 351-356 of Division A.

Section 213.Climate Change Safeguards for Natural Resources Conservation. Distributes proceeds of emission allowances for activities to prepare and respond to the impacts of climate change on natural resources pursuant to Sections 361-372 of Division A.

Section 214. Nuclear Worker Training. Distributes proceeds of emission allowances to provide assistance for training of workers that will be essential for the growth of safe domestic nuclear and nuclear-related industries pursuant to Section 132 of Division A.

Section 215. Supplemental Agriculture, Renewable Energy, and Forestry. Provides allowances for investment in agriculture and forestry projects to sequester carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions pursuant to the program in Section 155 of Division A.

Sen. Rockefeller Calls Kerry-Boxer 'A Disappointing Step in the Wrong Direction' 10

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 30 Sep 2009 20:27:00 GMT

Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.), who has not previously taken a strong position on climate legislation, issued a statement strongly opposing the Kerry-Boxer Clean Jobs Act introduced today:
The climate legislation proposed today by Senators Boxer and Kerry is a disappointing step in the wrong direction and I am against it. Requiring 20 percent emission reductions by 2020 is unrealistic and harmful – it is simply not enough time to deploy the carbon capture and storage (CCS) and energy efficiency technologies we need. Period. Our nation cannot survive without energy from coal and any viable climate policy must solidify our future by focusing on technology to make coal cleaner faster. I will continue studying the bill and all of its implications for our state and the coal industry. This is by no means the defining word on climate legislation in the Senate. I remain adamant in my conviction not to support any bill that might threaten the economy, workers or families across West Virginia. We should take the time to approach these issues with absolute care and diligence – they require nothing less.”

Friends of the Earth Issues Detailed Critique of Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act 9

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 30 Sep 2009 16:35:00 GMT

Breaking from most national environmental organizations, Friends of the Earth has issued a detailed critique of the Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, which limits global warming pollution and invests in clean energy:

We commend Senators Boxer and Kerry for their dedication to combating the important problem of climate change but we cannot support a bill that fails to solve the problem. Overall the draft is riddled with loopholes and does not go far enough to protect the planet.

Friends of the Earth’s “areas of concern” include:

Emissions Cap: Science demands at least a 40% reduction in emissions, compared to 1990, by 2020. The draft bill has emissions reductions targets of about 20 percent below 2005 levels – nowhere near what a fair U.S. contribution to a global emissions reductions should be to avert climate catastrophe

Clean Air Act: The draft bill prohibits the Administration from regulating greenhouse gas emissions from new power plants and other stationary sources until 2020.

Offset Loopholes: The extensive use of unreliable offsets in this draft bill, up to 2 billion tons a year, seriously undermines the integrity of the already weak emissions cap and delays the health, environmental, and economic benefits of shifting to a low-carbon economy.

Methane Regulations: The House-passed bill would require emissions from landfills, coal mines and natural gas pipelines to be regulated, but under the Kerry-Boxer draft, these sources can voluntarily capture methane in exchange for offset payments.

Markets Regulations: The bill would create from scratch a new commodities market for carbon that could quickly be the largest market in the world and has no specifics on how that market would be regulated.

Subsidizes Dirty Energy: The bill gives special subsidies to expensive, unsafe and environmentally damaging technologies such as nuclear reactors and carbon capture and sequestration and capture for coal plants, not to mention ambiguous incentives for biofuels.

Friends of the Earth’s policy team will be taking a deeper look at the bill in further days and release a more detailed analysis at a later date so that we can work with the Senate to pass legislation that will fairly and effectively address the problem of climate change.

Enviro and Labor Responses to Kerry-Boxer Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act

Posted by Brad Johnson Wed, 30 Sep 2009 14:57:00 GMT

Today, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act, the Senate version of the American Clean Energy and Security Act’s (H.R. 2454) climate provisions. Sen. Kerry introduced the bill:

For too long, Washington has let oil companies, lobbyists, and special interests maximize their profits and minimize our progress. Our dependence on foreign oil has hurt our economy, helped our enemies, and put our national security at risk. It’s time to invest in energy solutions that are made in America, and work for America. It’s time to take back control.

This bill will get tough on corporate pollution and put American ingenuity to work to dramatically improve every facet of the way America generates and uses energy. It will create millions of new, good-paying jobs, protect our air and water from dangerous pollution, and secure our children’s future by making America more energy independent. And it does not raise the federal deficit by one single dime.

Several environmental and labor organizations have responded.

Alliance for Climate Protection:

Today’s legislation introduction by Senators Barbara Boxer and John Kerry reflects significant progress in our nation’s efforts to transition to a clean energy economy that will create millions of new clean energy jobs. Their work and that of their committees should be commended. We look forward to the upcoming discussions that will further inform and forward a bipartisan bill. Right now, we have the opportunity to fundamentally transform how we generate and use energy in this country, to put ourselves back in control of our economy and national security and to assert global leadership in a new 21st century clean energy economy. By taking action this year to pass comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation, future generations will look back and know that their leaders stepped up to tackle a deteriorating economy and the specter of climate change head on, ensuring a healthy, prosperous nation.

Audubon Society:

Senators Boxer and Kerry have blended some new and vital ingredients into the recipe for a truly meaningful and comprehensive energy plan. The Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act would make a huge difference by requiring dirty power plants to clean up their acts and by establishing strong short-term emission reduction targets. Big polluters would have to slash their contributions to global warming, while the plan would help repower America with clean energy, create new jobs and cut our dangerous dependence on oil. That’s a recipe for energy success. The new measure is a big step toward the final legislation that America needs, Congress can support and the President will sign. We look forward to working with Senators Boxer and Kerry and members of the Environment & Public Works Committee to ensure the passage of a strong bill in the coming weeks.

Blue-Green Alliance:

The Blue Green Alliance commends Senators Boxer and Kerry for introducing comprehensive climate change and clean energy legislation. To truly achieve our goals of a cleaner environment and a prosperous and fair clean energy economy, we must pass comprehensive legislation that protects workers and ignites our clean energy economy. The Copenhagen negotiations are just around the corner, and it is critical that the U.S. Senate move on this legislation to send a strong message to the world.

Earthjustice:

We commend Senators Kerry and Boxer for their leadership in confronting one of the biggest challenges of our time. They share our vision of a clean energy future that addresses the heat-trapping pollutants responsible for climate change and puts America back in control of our economy, our security and our children’s future. For years we’ve relinquished control of our energy sector to other countries and to big corporate interests. Holding polluters accountable and investing in clean energy here at home will not only address the crisis of climate change but create jobs and put money back into the pockets of Americans. Naysayers ignore both the real costs of global warming and the economic benefits of a rapid shift to clean energy. They are intent on derailing and delaying action, but today’s announcement proves that momentum is building. Americans know we have everything to gain in confronting this challenge and implementing solutions.

Greenpeace:

While the language the Senate unveiled today contains some improvements over the House bill, it fails to commit the US to meaningful, science-based greenhouse gas emissions reductions needed to protect us from runaway climate change. This proposal meets neither the needs of science nor those of the international community, which is currently negotiating the landmark climate treaty. This proposal comes as climate science increasingly suggests that global warming is advancing even more quickly and more broadly than predicted. A UN report released just last week projects the planet is on track to warm beyond 2 degrees Celsius, a threshold climate scientists say would create an unacceptable risk for a global climate catastrophe. Despite this urgency, the legislation only proposes to cut emissions by 7 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 while the Nobel Prize winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change indicates that developed countries must cut emissions at least 25% – 40% under 1990 levels by 2020. The threat of runaway global warming has prompted countries such as Japan, India, Indonesia and China to commit to increasingly ambitious emissions reductions in recent weeks. The Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS), low-lying island nations whose very existence is threatened by sea level rise, urged world leaders last week to preserve their countries’ livelihood and survival by ensuring that global temperatures be kept as far below 1.5 degrees Celsius as possible. For years there has been scientific consensus on the perils of global warming. Now there is increasingly international political consensus on the need for bold, immediate, and coordinated action by world leaders. Unfortunately, what is still missing is a plan from the U.S. that matches our historic responsibility to address the crisis and the scale of the threat we all face. With the deadline for action at the Copenhagen Climate Summit fast approaching, we urge President Obama to assume leadership for global warming policy and to commit to negotiate a fair, ambitious and binding treaty in line with the science and not the demands of the fossil fuel industry.

Natural Resources Defense Council:

This bill will help curb climate change, strengthen our economy, and make our country more secure. It will help generate jobs, reduce our reliance on foreign oil and create a healthier future for all of us. And it will put Americans back to work, making our country the world leader in the green technologies that are driving growth in the global marketplace. We are optimistic that the calls for clean energy and climate solutions across the country – including support from business leaders, national security experts, entrepreneurs, labor, faith groups, veterans, and many others – will lead to action by the full Senate. This is the right step at the right time. It confronts the growing problem of global warming head-on – before it’s too late to avoid the worst impacts of climate change. It calls for a 20-percent cut in carbon emissions by 2020. That’s a strong and achievable goal. It will reduce the carbon pollution that causes global warming, while accelerating the move to a clean energy future for our country. A new analysis from UC Berkeley confirms that clean energy and climate legislation can strengthen our economy and create jobs. According to the report, comprehensive energy legislation with strong efficiency measures can create as many as 1.9 million jobs between 2010 and 2020.

Laborers’ International Union of North America:

The half-million men and women of LIUNA — who work every day to build America – are pleased with the bill’s family-supporting Davis-Bacon provisions, which will help ensure that new jobs are good jobs with fair pay. The bill’s green construction careers provision invests in both workers and jobs of the future and will strengthen communities. As we move forward, LIUNA looks forward to working with the Senate to ensure that sufficient investment is also made in building weatherization, which can create good jobs, save families money and help free us from foreign oil.

Union of Concerned Scientists:

“A stronger short-term target makes scientific sense,” said Melanie Fitzpatrick, a climate scientist at UCS. “U.S. emissions levels are now lower than expected, so we’re already well on our way to meeting these goals. Additionally, more of the carbon dioxide we’re emitting today is staying in the atmosphere because the ocean is absorbing less carbon from the air. That means early cuts in emissions are even more critical to keep temperatures down and prevent the worst consequences of climate change.”

Liz Perera, a federal policy analyst in UCS’s Climate Program, said the Senate bill mirrors the House version. “The House bill’s framework is a groundbreaking approach to moving America toward a clean energy economy. Sticking with the House framework will make it easier to move forward, especially in conference committee.”

Alden Meyer, UCS’s director of strategy and policy, attended last week’s climate summit at the United Nations, where numerous heads of state emphasized the need to make substantial progress at the December climate treaty negotiations. Meyer says the Copenhagen summit provides a concrete deadline for the Senate to act. “Without strong domestic action by the United States, an ambitious climate deal in Copenhagen isn’t in the cards,” Meyer said. “The House has done its part. Now this new bill gives the Senate a solid basis for moving forward. Time is short, but with the support of President Obama and Senate leaders, the Senate can show that it’s serious about cutting emissions and send a message to the rest of the world before Copenhagen.”

Utility Workers Union of America:

Those working to supply Americans with their electricity have so much to gain from clean energy legislation, and so much to lose from inaction. Working with Senators Boxer and Kerry, we can ensure that comprehensive clean energy legislation transitions our economy to provide the investments needed to grow a long-lasting clean energy sector that will provide high-quality jobs for years to come.

World Resources Institute:

Today, the U.S. Senate moves the United States one step closer to curbing the dangerous effects of climate change while simultaneously transitioning the country to a clean energy economy. Introduction of this bill, and the input from senators representing diverse regions of the country, will allow the Senate to enact environmentally strong and economically workable legislation. Those who say this is the wrong time to act because of the economic recession are wrong. Businesses and investors need certainty, and this is a road map to transform America into the world’s leader in clean energy manufacturing, creating new industry and jobs. EIA just announced that energy demand in the U.S. is dropping. This, combined with the long-term price signal the bill sends, will allow businesses to get comfortable with the new emissions requirements at a relatively low cost and give them the certainty that the investments they make in clean technology will have value in the future. The Senate has an opportunity to spark economic growth through clean energy, and the time to act is now.

World Wildlife Fund:

We commend Senators Kerry and Boxer for their leadership in starting the process for approval of a strong climate and energy bill in the Senate this year. The introduction of this important bill builds on the momentum created by House passage of the American Clean Energy Security Act in June. Senate passage this year of a comprehensive climate and energy bill is crucial to our economic recovery and our national security; it is also vital to ensuring American leadership towards a new global partnership to fight climate change this December in Copenhagen. The urgency of climate legislation cannot be overstated. In every region of the US and every corner of the planet, we are seeing the impacts of climate change. And they are coming sooner and hitting harder than scientists predicted just a few short years ago. The longer we wait to solve this crisis, the more expensive it will be. As President Obama said last week in New York ‘our prosperity, our health, our safety are in jeopardy.’ In December, world governments will meet in Copenhagen to negotiate a global partnership to respond to this global crisis. At that time, President Obama will need clear direction from the Senate. Simply put, Senate passage this year will be critical to success in Copenhagen. The Bill demonstrates Kerry’s and Boxer’s attempt to reach a compromise that will win necessary Senate support. Although we understand the political challenges, our climate does not. We are encouraged by the improvement of the Bill’s 2020 emissions target over the version that passed the House, but this target remains too weak and compromised by too many offsets. Reductions equivalent to at least 25% below 1990 levels by 2020 are needed to contribute to a global solution that has a chance to avoid the worst impacts of climate change on our farms, water supplies and communities. The Bill should be strengthened as it moves forward. But it is imperative that we get started. This Bill is the latest chapter in a long, bipartisan conversation in the Senate about reducing dangerous carbon pollution, beginning with the introduction of the McCain-Lieberman bill in 2005 and continuing through full Senate consideration of Lieberman-Warner just last year. We look forward to working with Senators Kerry, Boxer and all interested members to bring this long debate to a close. Time is running out; this Senate action comes not a moment too soon.

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