Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairwoman of the Committee on Environment and Public Works, have introduced the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.
The Senate bill goes a bit further toward reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to H.R.2298, the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which was passed by the House of Representatives in June. The House bill sets a GHG reduction target of 17% by 2020 and over 80% by 2050, compared to 2005 levels.
The Boxer-Kerry bill aims to reduce GHG emissions 20% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 from 2005 levels through a Pollution Reduction and Investment (PRI) system. The PRI is a mechanism that sets pollution reduction targets, then uses market incentives to find the most affordable paths to achieve them. PRI rewards companies in every sector that find ways to reduce carbon pollution by using cleaner technologies or improving efficiency.
Under PRI's incentives, renewable fuel sources, such as wind and solar, will become increasingly central to the way the U.S. uses energy.
The bill also directs the Environmental Protection Agency to establish a program to provide grants and other assistance to renewable energy projects in states with mandatory renewable portfolio standards.
In addition, the bill would allow the distribution of emissions allowances to states, Indian tribes, local governments, metropolitan planning organizations and renewable electricity generators for programs to reduce GHG emissions, promote energy efficiency and conservation, and accelerate the deployment of renewable energy sources.
SOURCE: Office of Sen. John Kerry