Mother Earth Living

Senate and House Create Energy Legislation

While the United States Senate has reached compromise with the bipartisan ACELA, the House of Representatives will battle over the Cap and Trade Emissions Bill.
By Samantha Schwartz
June 2009 Web
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On June 26, the U.S. House of Representatives will vote on the Lieberman-Warner Cap and Trade Bill.

The House’s bill caps greenhouse gas emission s and creates a market to buy and sell emissions allowances. The Cap and Trade bill sets  carbon emission allowances for the next 41 years. It demands a decrease in carbon emissions by 17 percent in 2020, by 42 percent in 2030 and by 83 percent in 2050.

President Barack Obama believes the Cap and Trade Bill will create more green jobs in engineering and construction. Among others, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Nature Conservancy, World Wildlife Fund, American Lung Association give their support to the bill as well. However, many Republicans say in a decade the bill will not be advantageous to Americans.  Dubbing it the “cap and tax” bill, Republicans claim it will cost each American family $2,937.38 annually and raise power rates by 90 percent.

Recently, the U.S. Senate created and approved the American Clean Energy Leadership Act of 2009 (ACELA) based on six other bipartisan bills.

The Senate bill allows for extensive oil and gas drilling in a 45-mile or greater radius from tracts of the Gulf of Mexico.  The drilling  will  produce eight billion barrels of new oil resources and make 21.5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas available.  It also provides funds for a gas pipeline project in Alaska.

ACELA requires electric companies to make 15 percent of their electricity sales through renewable energy (solar, wind, biomass, geothermal and hydropower). Under ACELA, electric companies are required to be energy efficient by 2021. The Democrats and Republicans  agreed that the ACELA should double the allowance to $6.6 million for the purpose of energy research and compensation. 

More on reducing carbon footprints:

• Reduce your greenhouse gas emissions. It’s easier than you think to shop carbon neutral.

• Talk the talk with a recycled phone.

• Need a break? Take a pollution-free cruise to the Caribbean.

• See how Chicago homeowners Michael and Beth Yerke created a carbon-neutral home.

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