Sunday, June 28, 2009

USA Environmental Legislation : American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 Passes U.S. House of Representatives and Heads to the U.S. Senate

The United States - which is far behind Europe in environmental legislation, and which is learning hard energy lessons in the automotive industry - is moving forward on clean energy, as the U.S. House of Representatives on June 26, 2009 passed Barack Obama's "Clean Energy Bill", (H.R. 2998, printed June 27, 2009, also known as the "Waxman-Markey Bill", official short title "American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009", 1201 pages in the .pdf version) which now goes to the Senate, where, in this author's view, it will still be subject to some amendment, but will surely pass.

As written at WikiNews:
"The final vote was 219-212, with only 8 Republicans voting for the legislation, and 44 Democrats voting against it. The resolution addresses the "greenhouse effect," and calls for a 17% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, and an 83% reduction by 2050. In addition, the legislation will establish new requirements for utilities, and various incentives for "going green.""
The Wikipedia writes:
"The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES) is an energy bill in the 111th United States Congress that would establish a variant of a cap-and-trade plan for greenhouse gases to address climate change. The bill was approved by the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009 by a vote of 219-212, but has not yet been approved by the Senate.[1][2]

This vote was the "first time either house of Congress had approved a bill meant to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change.....[3]

Internationally, the House's passage of the ACES bill "established a marker for the United States when international negotiations on a new climate change treaty begin later this year."[4]

Proponents and opponents of the bill tend to concentrate on the specific provisions of the bill, whereas the most important impact of the bill - if passed by both houses of Congress and signed by President Obama - will be its clear message to American corporations and inhabitants that they have to start to think and act realistically with respect to energy and the environment, as has been the case in the European Union already for a great number of years.

Those in America who oppose sensible legislation on energy and the environment need to be reminded - time and again- that the collapse of the American automotive industry is a direct cause of the stubborn failure by US institutions and citizens to accept the energy realities.

UPDATE:

John M. Broder writes at the New York Times in House Passes Bill to Address Threat of Climate Change:
"The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, who was in Washington on Friday to meet with Mr. Obama, strongly endorsed the bill even though it fell short of European goals for reducing the emissions of heat-trapping gases.

Mrs. Merkel, a longtime advocate of strong curbs on emissions, has been pushing the United States to take a leading role before the climate negotiations, set for December in Copenhagen."

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