Senate Climate Bill To Fund Transportation And Affect Fuel Markets

The American Power Act sets limits on greenhouse gas emissions, creates a cap, trade, and dividend program that rebates funds to energy bill payers, directs $6 billion yearly to targeted transportation programs, and curtails EPA's climate authority.
May 14, 2010, 9am PDT | Irvin Dawid
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The bill, sponsored by Senators Kerry (D-MA) and Lieberman (I-CT) was released on May 12 to much political uncertainty as the lone Republican sponsor, Lindsay Graham (SC), withdrew earlier. Finding 60 votes to overcome a Republican filibuster will be a major challenge. It has the support of President Obama.

"It would require oil companies to obtain emissions permits at a set price not set by the trading market. That essentially mimics the so-called "linked fee" - which itself approximated a gasoline tax - that drafters scrapped after the White House raised concerns it would damage the bill in the eyes of voters. Still, as written, the bill would likely raise fuel costs.

The legislation would immediately send two-thirds of the revenues from emissions permit sales directly back to consumers as refunds on their utility bills.

As written, the bill would stop the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and restrict state environmental powers."

From Transportation For America:
It provides $6.25 billion in funding split three ways, including the TIGER grant program and Highway Trust Fund, intended to reduce oil consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

From The New York Times:
"The bill's overall goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 17 percent (compared with 2005 levels) by 2020, and by 83 percent by 2050. The targets match those in a House bill passed last year and in the Obama administration's announced policy goal."

Thanks to California League of Conservation Voters (The Daily Green)

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, May 12, 2010 in Kansas City Star
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