House Ways and Means Committee

Policy Options to Prevent Climate Change

1100 Longworth
Thu, 18 Sep 2008 14:30:00 GMT

The next hearing will focus on policy options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. A number of proposals have been referred to the Ways and Means Committee in the 110th Congress (e.g., H.R. 2069 – The Save Our Climate Act of 2007 (Rep. Stark), H.R. 6316 – The Climate MATTERS (Market, Auction, Trust & Trade Emissions Reduction System) Act of 2008 (Rep. Doggett), H.R. 3416 – The America’s Energy Security Trust Fund Act of 2007 (Rep. Larson), and H.R. 6186 – The Investing in Climate Action and Protection Act of 2008 (Rep. Markey)).

In view of the limited time available to hear witnesses, oral testimony at this hearing will be from invited witnesses only. However, any individual or organization not scheduled for an oral appearance may submit a written statement for consideration by the Committee and for inclusion in the printed record of the hearing.

BACKGROUND:

The Committee on Ways and Means has previously heard testimony that human greenhouse gas emissions are having an adverse impact on our planet’s climate. These witnesses testified that the United States “must enact and implement a comprehensive national mandatory market-based program to progressively and significantly reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in a manner that contributes to sustained economic growth.” Since that hearing, a number of legislative proposals have been introduced in the House of Representatives, and been referred to the Ways and Means Committee, that would implement market-based programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States.

There is bipartisan support for action to address climate change. Senior lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have proposed enacting mandatory economy-wide cap-and-trade programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Their proposals, like other proposals introduced in the 110th Congress, would contain revenue measures (e.g., auctions of carbon allowances) that are within the jurisdiction of the Committee on Ways and Means. In addition, many of the market-based climate change proposals include import requirements that are within the Committee’s jurisdiction. This hearing will mark the beginning of the Committee’s work on this important issue.

FOCUS OF THE HEARING:

The hearing will focus on the policy options that are available for reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and will examine the design choices presented by these options. In particular, the Committee will explore the revenue components of these policy options. The Committee will also explore proposals to promote a comprehensive global effort to address climate change and to ensure a level regulatory playing field for U.S. manufacturers. The hearing will also focus on the potential costs that could be imposed on the U.S. economy if Congress fails to act to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and the economic growth opportunities that would arise from implementing a market-based program to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.

Note: All Committee advisories and news releases are available on the World Wide Web at http://waysandmeans.house.gov.

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