Thursday, July 12, 2007

Congressional Climate Change Legislation 2007

House Energy and Commerce Committe Chairman John Dingell has put off introducing more energy legislation until Fall. But he is threatening to introduce a new tax on carbon dioxide emissions right now to expose the hypocrisy of Congress and the American public. Americans hate high gasoline and energy prices and politicians fear voter reprisals. Chairman Dingell knows this. He also put off energy legislation to give him more time to figure out how to protect Detroit from increased automobile fuel economy standards.

AAEA supports abundant energy supplies at reasonable prices. This combination has kept the American economy the most powerful in the world with the possible exception of China. Of course, like HOV lanes, neither a carbon tax, cap and trade, and vehicle fuel economy standards will stop global warming if China and India do nothing. Adaptation is the new green. As you can see, climate change is very complex. AAEA supports technological solutions to climate change.

Senators Jeff Bingamin (D-NM) and Arlen S;ecter (R-PA) introduced The Low Carbon Economy Act on July 11 and the bill creates an economy-wide mandatory tradable-permits system that is modeled after the successful U.S. Acid Rain Program. The environmental targets of the Act are to reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) to 2006 levels by 2020 and 1990 levels by 2030. To limit economic uncertainty and price volatility, the government would allow firms to make a payment at a fixed price in lieu of submitting allowances. Under the Act, GHG emissions from petroleum and natural gas are regulated “upstream” – that is, at or close to the point of fuel production. The proposal sets out a detailed methodology for distributing tradable emission allowances.

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