12 May 2009:
Climate Bill May Contain
Free Permits, Lower Renewables Goal
Roughly half of the permits issued to major carbon dioxide emitters will initially be given away for free
, rather than auctioned, according to cap-and-trade legislation being hammered out in a key congressional committee. ClimateWire reported that Henry Waxman, chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, is working on a plan that would give away about 35 percent of total emissions permits to utilities, 10 to 15 percent to trade-intensive industries such as steel and cement, and up to 5 percent to petroleum refiners. In addition, Waxman is expected to agree to lower the national target for renewable energy generation from about 25 percent of the country’s energy needs by 2020 to roughly 20 percent, with some of that target being met by improved energy efficiency. Waxman and some members of the Obama administration had hoped to require all major carbon dioxide emitters to purchase emissions permits at auction, but cap-and-trade proponents have had to soften their stance to win over conservative Democrats. The legislation, if approved by the full Congress, would move to a 100 percent auction system within 10 to 15 years, ClimateWire reported.
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Tribal people and ranchers join together to stop a project that would haul coal across their Montana land. Watch the video.
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An aerial view of why Europe’s per capita carbon emissions are less than 50 percent of those in the U.S. View the photos.
Ugandan scientists monitor the impact of climate change on one of Africa’s most diverse forests and its extraordinary wildlife. Learn more.
video series looks at the staggering amount of food wasted in the U.S. – a problem with major human and environmental costs. Watch the video.
video goes onto the front lines with Colorado firefighters confronting deadly blazes fueled by a hotter, drier climate. Watch the video.
A three-part series Tainted Harvest
looks at the soil pollution crisis in China, the threat it poses to the food supply, and the complexity of any cleanup. Read the series.