U.S. Climate Bill Stalls Real Change in Climate Policy
Earlier this year, the United States House of Representatives passed the first major legislation aimed at addressing climate change—the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES). Informally known as the Waxman-Markey bill—after Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA)—the bill faces an uncertain future in the United States Senate. But one thing that is all too likely: the aspects of the bill that address the needs of low-income workers, people of color, and indigenous peoples will be shortchanged.
As currently written, ACES will:
- Not protect the poor from price-hikes as the price of carbon gets internalized into our energy bills;
- Protect polluting industries by granting them free pollution permits;
- Encourage the creation of a huge carbon derivatives market leading to fraud, shell games, and an unprecedented carbon market “bubble” with dire economic consequences for all Americans;
- Make a mockery of our common understanding of "renewable energy" by favoring dirty smokestacks over truly clean, renewable energy;
- Strip the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions from all power plants, including coal burners, under the Clean Air Act.