Failed Climate Policy: ACESA needs an overhaul, or to be scrapped

What YOU should know about the American Clean Energy and Security Act
Today, June 26th, House Representatives are expected to vote on ACESA, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES Act), H.R. 2998 (formerly H.R. 2454)
Background: ACESA is a comprehensive national climate and energy legislation that climas to establish an economy-wide, greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade system and critical complementary measures to address climate change and build a clean energy economy. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 33-25 to approve the ACES Act on May 21. Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-California) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts), chairman of a key subcommittee, introduced the bill on May 15, after floating a discussion draft in March.
ARTICLES of reference ABOUT the failed ACESA policy
GEORGE MONBIOT: Why do we allow the US to act like a failed state on climate change? The Waxman-Markey climate bill is the best we will get from America until the corruption of public life is addressed
It would be laughable anywhere else. But, so everyone says, the Waxman-Markey bill which is likely to be passed in Congress today or tomorrow, is the best we can expect – from America. (continue reading)
KEN WARD: 9 damned good reasons why some U.S. environmentalists should heartily oppose Waxman-Markey
Waxman-Markey just plain sucks and we would be fools to not fight about that fact within our own ranks. I’ve no intention of trying to add to the volumes of data and policy being tossed around on the finer points of the bill. The bottom line is clear enough from any cursory summary: 450 ppm isn’t good, the U.S. ought to be calling for 300-350 ppm; the bill as presently written doesn’t even have a hope of getting us to 450 ppm if it becomes the model for the world (all those offsets, way too late implementation, dropping GFC’s and so on); and—please stretch a bit here—let’s not forget that cap-and-trade was the worst of a bad lot that everyone now touting it used to oppose, for excellent reasons. If we are intellectually honest, then there are more than enough reasons to disagree with the majority opinion here. (continue reading)
Institute for Policy Studies:Good News, There’s a Climate Bill — Bad News, It Stinks
Right out of the starting gate, the bill provides a ridiculous number of giveaways to industry — something President Barack Obama campaigned against as unfair to consumers: Upwards of 85 percent of pollution allowances are being given away for free to the electricity sector, with many of these free permits not phasing out until 2030. This means little to none of the revenues coming into the public coffers from this “cap and trade” scheme will be used to protect low and moderate households from energy price increases, as envisioned by Obama. (continued reading article)

What YOU should know about the Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act

(UPDATE) Take Action: Tell Congress It Must Do Better

Message your Representative today via Friends of the Earth

Today, June 26th, House Representatives are expected to vote on ACESA, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES Act), H.R. 2998 (formerly H.R. 2454)

Background: ACESA is a comprehensive national climate and energy legislation that climas to establish an economy-wide, greenhouse gas (GHG) cap-and-trade system and critical complementary measures to address climate change and build a clean energy economy. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted 33-25 to approve the ACES Act on May 21. Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-California) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts), chairman of a key subcommittee, introduced the bill on May 15, after floating a discussion draft in March.

ARTICLES of reference ABOUT the failed ACESA policy

GEORGE MONBIOT: Why do we allow the US to act like a failed state on climate change?  The Waxman-Markey climate bill is the best we will get from America until the corruption of public life is addressed

It would be laughable anywhere else. But, so everyone says, the Waxman-Markey bill which is likely to be passed in Congress today or tomorrow, is the best we can expect – from America. (continue reading)

KEN WARD: 9 damned good reasons why some U.S. environmentalists should heartily oppose Waxman-Markey

Waxman-Markey just plain sucks and we would be fools to not fight about that fact within our own ranks. I’ve no intention of trying to add to the volumes of data and policy being tossed around on the finer points of the bill. The bottom line is clear enough from any cursory summary: 450 ppm isn’t good, the U.S. ought to be calling for 300-350 ppm; the bill as presently written doesn’t even have a hope of getting us to 450 ppm if it becomes the model for the world (all those offsets, way too late implementation, dropping GFC’s and so on); and—please stretch a bit here—let’s not forget that cap-and-trade was the worst of a bad lot that everyone now touting it used to oppose, for excellent reasons. If we are intellectually honest, then there are more than enough reasons to disagree with the majority opinion here. (continue reading)

Institute for Policy Studies: Good News, There’s a Climate Bill — Bad News, It Stinks

Right out of the starting gate, the bill provides a ridiculous number of giveaways to industry — something President Barack Obama campaigned against as unfair to consumers: Upwards of 85 percent of pollution allowances are being given away for free to the electricity sector, with many of these free permits not phasing out until 2030. This means little to none of the revenues coming into the public coffers from this “cap and trade” scheme will be used to protect low and moderate households from energy price increases, as envisioned by Obama.    (continue reading article)

6 Responses to “Failed Climate Policy: ACESA needs an overhaul, or to be scrapped”


  1. 1 Greg Jun 26th, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I agree totally. The bill stinks 5 ways to Sunday but… I blame all those who did not get off their ass and call their Congressman and Senator as much as I blame our Reps for listening to the interests of Coal and Oil who obviously did lobby. If you did not make a call or write a letter or OPED a newspaper you’ve got no one to blame but yourself. That said I do think we need to have something on the books before the fall run up to Copenhagen. (Man I wish it were better though). So here’s my plan. The bill now goes back to the Senate for one last round. I’m going to lobby every Senator I can reach as hard as I can to make these changes http://pdamerica.org/articles/news/2009-06-23-02-39-15-news.php God help us all if we blow this!

  2. 2 andrewmunn Jun 27th, 2009 at 11:32 am

    Thank you Brian – you know something is wrong when big fossil fuel companies and the youth climate movement support the same climate bill. Movement’s are supposed to be on the right side of history, not the convenient side of foundation funding and party politics.

  3. 3 Ed Griffith Jun 27th, 2009 at 4:45 pm

    I do not disagree with any of the above facts, but the problem is it is 2009, not 2000, and as Al Gore said, “There is no Plan B.” We cannot wait to get moving even if it is too slow and too inadequate. The alternative to this clearly inadequate bill is no progress at all and time is running out both for the environment and for the economy. After we get this passed into law and at least start moving then we can elect a better bunch and ask for improvements. (The exception is we should not support a bill that takes away the power of the EPA to regulate or we will be stuck with the bad aspects of this bill.) Time is truly of the essence and I don’t think we can wait one or more years for a better bill.

  4. 4 Mattie Reitman Jun 27th, 2009 at 7:26 pm

    This is me agreeing with you.
    Ohio hasn’t helped much, although we do have Kucinich speaking the good word!

  5. 5 Pete Jun 27th, 2009 at 7:39 pm

    Greg, I’m concerned about this idea that we can get a bill that will provide a path to climate justice if only we just ask a little bit harder and lobby a little bit (or a lot) more. We live under a system of government that is made to answer to those who hold the most power, and that is generally power through economic clout. We don’t have a whole lot of leverage when we ask nicely and write letters, when the other political players have seemingly endless amounts of money to buy off lawmakers and judges, thousands of full-time paid lobbyists, and hired thugs to intimidate those who would resist their plans for never ending growth.

    We have a whole other set of tools that can give us significant leverage to achieve what sometimes seems far off. What if instead of asking people to write letters, groups like the Energy Action Coalition were organizing around the country to shut down federal offices if ACESA was passed without an overhaul, rather than diverting energy into filling Congressional hearing rooms with green shirts? What if climate groups brought financial districts of a half dozen cities across the country were brought to a halt for a day if there was no provision for a moratorium on all new coal plants and mining projects?

    The same old, tired tactics aren’t going to achieve the radical changes needed to stop catastrophic climate change.

  1. 1 The Understory » Will Hillary Clinton Let the World’s Dirtiest Oil Sneak Into the U.S.? Trackback on Jun 26th, 2009 at 4:52 pm
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About Brian


Brian lives in Portland, Oregon and is part of Rising Tide North America. When not challenging corporate-sponsored climate change and the oppression of the fossil fuel industry he's probably hiking, cooking or gardening.

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