The American Power Act

Written by  //  May 19, 2010  //  Environment & Energy, Politics, Public Policy, U.S.  //  No comments

See also Gulf of Mexico oil spill and U.S.: Environment and energy

Robert Redford — Mr. President: Now Is the Time For Clean Energy
Right now, the Senate has legislation on the table that would help move us in a new direction and put America back in control of its energy future. The American Power Act, drafted by Senators Kerry and Lieberman, is not perfect– but it is a significant step toward cutting our dependence on fossil fuels, limiting carbon pollution, and encouraging businesses to shift to clean energy sources.
Unfortunately, the full Senate continues to stall — weighed down by too much infighting and too many special interests. That’s why we need the president to assert his voice and leadership by letting the Senate — and the American people — know that he is serious about getting clean energy and climate legislation passed this year.
12 May
Kerry, Lieberman Introduce Climate-Change Bill
(WSJ) The lawmakers released broad outlines of the bill, with further details expected to be made public later Wednesday.
The bill would focus on addressing the largest carbon-emitting sectors of the economy: heavy industry, power plants and transportation infrastructure. It would target a 17% reduction in U.S. carbon pollution by 2020 and over 80% by 2050.
It would contain a cap-and-trade system that would levy a tax against the largest emitters. Initially the rate would be set at $12 a ton, increasing at 3% above inflation annually thereafter. An initial ceiling of $25 per ton would also be included.
In a bid to address industry concerns about the cost of the plan, industrial sources wouldn’t be obliged to enter the cap-and-trade program until 2016. After that point, there would be funds made available to help cover compliance costs.
Senate Climate Bill Makes Its Debut
Senators John F. Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, and Joseph I. Lieberman, independent of Connecticut, roll out their long-delayed proposal to address global warming and energy.
Kerry unveils US climate bill, Obama supports
(Reuters) – U.S. Senator John Kerry ratcheted up the fight to pass legislation to combat global warming on Wednesday, unveiling a bill as the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster complicates the measure’s already slim chances of passage.
Kerry, a Democrat, and Senator Joseph Lieberman, an independent, took the wraps off their bill, but a Republican supporter was conspicuously absent. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, who helped write the bill but withdrew from talks over the immigration reform debate, did not attend the ceremony.
The bill still has provisions to encourage offshore drilling but would allow U.S. states to prohibit offshore oil activity within 75 miles (121 km) of their coasts.
John Kerry: Transforming Our Power
I’m doubling down on the proposal I’m rolling out today with Senator Lieberman, a work product that reflects six months of contribution from Lindsey Graham, and hundreds of meetings with our colleagues: major energy and comprehensive climate change legislation that meets this big challenge. It’s a practical pathway to finally end our addiction to oil, put Americans back in control of our own power production, and release the innovation and ingenuity of Americans to build the clean energy economy we need to build prosperity in the 21st century. It’ll help us create nearly 2 million new jobs, develop new products, and support the research and development to help us maintain leadership in the global economy. And it’ll even reduce the deficit by about $21 billion in nine years.
John Kerry: Introducing the American Power Act: On strategy and substance
(Grist) … First, the Senate dynamic — the politics of this place. I want to be candid about this, and I do so with a record on this issue that I think earned me the spurs to say this. We’ve been at this a long time. Al Gore and I held the Senate’s first climate-change hearings in the Commerce Committee way back in 1988. Since then, precious little progress has been made and ground has been lost internationally, all while the science has grown more compelling. I can barely even count any more the number of international summits I’ve attended, or press conferences we’ve held after losing climate-change votes in the Senate where our message was, “Next year, we can get this done — don’t give up on the United States or the Senate.” Two Congresses ago, we had 38 votes for a bill. Last Congress, we had 54 votes for cloture out of 60 needed — and we said then — me, Joe, Barbara Boxer [D-Calif.] — that this Congress we could get to 60 and pass a bill.
9 May
Does the Climate Bill Have a Chance?
By THE EDITORS
(NYT) The Mexico Gulf oil spill renews interest in ways to limit fossil fuels, but is that possible in the current political environment?
7 May
Graham Says Energy Legislation Is ‘Impossible’ for Now
(NYT) Senator Lindsey Graham said that a nascent plan to address energy and climate change in the Senate had no chance of passage in the near term … [because] the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico had heightened concern about expanded offshore drilling, which he considers a central component of any energy legislation. Mr. Graham also said that Democratic insistence on taking up immigration policy before energy had chilled his enthusiasm for any global warming measure.
Kerry, Lieberman to Unveil Climate Bill Next Week
(CBS News) The fate of the climate bill, however, is especially unclear in the wake of the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.
Kerry and Lieberman said they are more encouraged today that the bill can pass in the Senate “in part because the last weeks have given everyone with a stake in this issue a heightened understanding that as a nation, we can no longer wait to solve this problem which threatens our economy, our security and our environment.”
White House says time right for climate bill

(Reuters) – The White House said on Friday the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico showed the need for climate change and energy legislation, dismissing calls from a Republican backer of the bill to hold off.
25 April
Lawmakers decided to delay the unveiling of their bipartisan climate change and energy bill … Democrats intended to introduce the proposal, one of President Obama’s legislative priorities, with much fanfare Monday, but scuttled the plans after Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican from South Carolina, one of the central architects of the bill, threatened to drop his sponsorship if leaders take up an immigration bill first. Mr. Graham and Senators John Kerry and Joseph I. Lieberman have been working on the deal for months. More

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