EPA’S TAKE ON CLIMATE LEGISLATION
E.P.A. Releases Analysis of Climate Bill
Jad Mouawad, April 21, 2009 (NY Times)
"Just days after declaring that carbon emissions were a threat to human health, the Environmental Protection Agency has given high marks to a wide-ranging energy and climate bill that was recently put forward by the House Energy Committee.
"The Waxman-Markey bill, also known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, will “drive the clean energy transformations of the U.S. economy,” and substantially reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions, according to the E.P.A.’s review."
From NationalWildlife via YouTube.
"In a summary, the E.P.A. said it focused its analysis on the bill’s proposed cap-and-trade mechanism. It assumes that carbon prices would range from $13 to $17 per ton in 2015, and would rise by about 5 percent a year. By 2020, carbon costs would reach $17 to $22 per ton. That is approximately what participants in a European Union cap-and-trade program are currently paying.
"The E.P.A.’s analysis suggests that under the plan, the share of low-carbon and zero-carbon energy sources — including renewables like wind and solar, as well as nuclear and carbon capture plants — would rise to 26 percent of the nation’s energy mix by 2030, and could reach 46 percent by 2050. Without the policy, that share would remain at a steady 14 percent the E.P.A. estimated."
The UN's "international offsets" program is called the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). (click to enlarge)
"Republican opponents to a cap-and-trade policy say it amounts to a hidden energy tax…But Representative Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat and a co-sponsor of the bill, said the E.P.A.’s analysis, along with other provisions in the bill for updating energy efficiency weatherization, suggested that “the savings will pile up for consumers.”
"The E.P.A.’s analysis predicted the [bill’s impact on consumers would be modest and]… said that in order to minimize costs, the program needed to include a mechanism that allows companies to offset their carbon emissions by investing…in international offsets — such as reforestation programs in Africa — [that] would significantly reduce the cost of achieving the bill’s goals. Excluding such offsets would nearly double the price of the carbon allowances… the House energy committee is holding a series of hearings on the proposed bill, and plans to have the legislation ready by Memorial day."