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Climate Bill Unveiled


I have attended conference calls led by Senator Kerry for better part of a year regarding this bill; it’s been a long road fought with diplomacy and compromises. Yet, the principle of the bill remains intact – if the U.S. intends to compete globally, we must fundamentally change course as it relates to energy and the technology to produce and use that energy.

The American Power Act summary:

1. Offshore Drilling:  States would be allowed to opt out of offshore drilling up to 75 miles from their coast.

2. Greenhouse Gas Emissions:  Emissions would be cut by 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and by more than 80% by 2050. There is a more aggressive schedule for super-greenhouse gases and black carbon. The bill also requires the phase-down of HFC consumption to 15% of the baseline by 2032.

3. Price on Carbon:  The bill sets a price on carbon roughly $12-$25 per ton.

4. Consumer protection: Two-thirds of emissions revenues (not allocated to reducing the national deficit) would be allocated to consumers in the form of energy rebates, discounts, etc.

5. Nuclear Power: Increases funding for nuclear loan guarantees to $54 billion.

6.  Transportation: More than $6 billion annually to improve the effectiveness of highways and mass transit systems. Tax incentives would be provided for conversion to clean, natural gas vehicles. Expands the clean energy manufacturing tax credit by $5 billion.

7.  Clean Coal Technologies: provides annual incentives of $2 billion

8.  Jobs: focuses on jobs that stay in America. Details pending.

9.  International Market:  Provides a ‘plan b’ for limiting emissions if no global agreement on climate change is reached.

10. Agriculture: Bill will cover corporate farms and exempt family farms and most small and medium size businesses.

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