U.S. climate change bill unveiled
12 May 2010-- U.S. Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., have released their version of climate change legislation, the American Power Act 2010, that includes carbon dioxide reductions for power plants and revenue sharing for states that participate in offshore drilling.
The bill also includes a price for carbon starting at $12 and increasing at 3 percent over inflation annually, and a ceiling set at $25, which will increase by 5 percent over inflation.
The Senate's version calls for a 17 percent reduction in carbon emissions from 2005 levels by 2020, 42 percent by 2030 and 83 percent by 2050. Power plants will have the first restrictions and manufacturers' restrictions will follow six years later. The bill will also give distribution companies that service electric utilities free allowances through 2029.
The bill also allows states to opt out of drilling up to 75 miles from their shores and can veto offshore drilling plans if an accident will cause a significant impact. However, states that move ahead with drilling will receive 37.5 percent of the revenue.
The legislation would pre-empt states' ability to implement greenhouse gas reductions and provide credit through allowances for states that already have cap and trade policies that are supposed to end because of federal law. Even though the Environmental Protection Agency will have authority over many of the new climate programs, the bill restricts the agency's ability to regulate GHG under several sections of the Clean Air Act.