Greenhouse Gas Legislation: Summary and Analysis of H.R. 2454 as Passed by the House of Representatives [July 27, 2009]   [open pdf - 970KB]

"H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, was introduced May 15, 2009, by Representatives Waxman and Markey, and was subsequently modified (both technical and substantive changes) and ordered reported by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on May 21, 2009. The bill was reported (amended) June 5 (H.Rept. 111-137, Part I). It was passed in the House on June 26, 2009, by a recorded vote of 219-212. H.R. 2454 contains provisions that would amend the Clean Air Act to establish a cap-and-trade system designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from covered sources 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% below 2005 levels by 2050. The market-based approach would establish an absolute cap on the emissions and would allow trading of emissions permits ("allowances"). The bill achieves its broad coverage through an upstream compliance mandate on petroleum and most fluorinated gas producers and importers, and a downstream mandate on electric generators and industrial sources, and a midstream mandate on natural gas local distribution companies (LDCs). The bill allocates a substantial percentage of the allowances for the benefit of energy consumers and low-income households. As the program proceeds through the mid-2020s it shifts to more government auctioning with most of the proceeds returned to households. The bill's allocation scheme includes free allowance allocations to energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries, merchant coal-fired electric generators, and petroleum refiners. An important cost control mechanism in the cap-and-trade program is the availability of domestic and international offsets."

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CRS Report for Congress, R40643
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