WASHINGTON DC — At a carbon market conference on Tuesday Nancy Sutley, chairperson of the Council on Environmental Quality, emphasized last week’s bill from Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and the regulations it placed on carbon cap-and-trade allowances. She said the energy goals of the bill were inline with those of President Obama.
“In setting out this agenda, the administration has signaled … that the United States is ready to assume leadership in helping to bring the world together to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions,” Sutley said. “It will also encourage the development and deployment of the clean-energy technologies that will be critical to address climate change, enhance energy security and create jobs that can’t be outsourced.”
The draft of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, introduced by Waxman and Markey, called for a 20 percent decrease in the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions based on 2005 levels, to be achieved by 2020, and an 83 percent cut seen by mid-century.
However, the Waxman-Markey draft did not address how companies will receive their carbon credits. But, Obama said he would like companies to purchase all of their credits at an auction, instead of just being handed them. This would raise hundreds of billions of dollars to fund clean energy programs and give tax breaks to greener companies. But some, including big polluters, say the costs of 100 percent auctions would be too great.