On March 31, Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Chairman Edward Markey (D-MA) of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee released a discussion draft of comprehensive energy legislation. The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 aims to “create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, enhance America’s energy independence and cut global warming pollution.” The legislation has four titles:
- Clean Energy: promotes renewable sources of energy and carbon capture and sequestration technologies, low-carbon transportation fuels, clean electric vehicles, and the smart grid and electricity transmission;
- Energy Efficiency: increases energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation and industry;
- Global Warming: places limits on the emissions of heat-trapping pollutants through the creation of a cap and trade program for electric utilities, oil companies, large industrial sources and other entities that collectively are responsible for 85 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions; sets emission reduction targets at 3 percent below 2005 levels in 2012, 20 percent below 2005 levels in 2020, 42 percent below 2005 levels in 2030 and 83 percent below 2005 levels below in 2050;
- Transitioning: protects U.S. consumers and industry and promotes green jobs during the transition to a clean energy economy.
The Energy and Commerce Committee plans to complete consideration of the legislation by the end of May 2009. A tentative schedule includes Energy and Environment Subcommittee hearings the week of April 20, followed by a subcommittee markup period (where members review the text of the bill and make amendments) beginning the week of April 27 and a full committee markup period beginning the week of May 11. For more information, including a link to the full discussion draft, please visit the House Energy and Commerce Committee website .