Today, members of the U.S. Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee introduced their own climate bill, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. At first glance, the 821 page bill, written by Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA), is stronger than its House counterpart in at least one important respect: the level of emissions reductions.
For example, the bill’s carbon cap would be more aggressive than the one established by the American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), passed by the House of Representatives in June. The cap established by the Boxer-Kerry bill would reduce national carbon dioxide emissions to 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, up from a 17 percent reduction established by ACES, and reduce emissions to 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.
Like ACES, the Boxer-Kerry bill includes funding to support renewable energy resources as well as carbon capture and sequestration technology applied to coal-fired power plants. In addition, the bill includes a nuclear title, which provides more funding for loan guarantees and liability insurance for operators. The title also supports the development of a trained workforce to operate new nuclear facilities.