May 26, 2009

Let the climate change debates begin

Washington (and the chemical industry) is abuzz this week with the proposed American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act by House Reps Waxman and Markey.

The House Committee on Energy and Commerce passed the bill on May 21 with a 33-25 vote. The bill aims to cut global warming pollution by 17% compared to 2005 levels in 2020, by 42% in 2030, and by 83% in 2050. The House is now expected to vote on the amended bill in the next few months.

The most controversial plan under the bill is the proposed cap-and-trade (or is it tax?) program where it would cap US industrial and transportation emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG) and auction emissions permits to the broad industrial sector. The sale of emissions permits would likely raise $646bn during its first eight years of implementation, according to the White House.

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