Washington (and the chemical industry) is abuzz this week with the proposed American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act by House Reps Waxman and Markey.
The House Committee on Energy and Commerce passed the bill on May 21 with a 33-25 vote. The bill aims to cut global warming pollution by 17% compared to 2005 levels in 2020, by 42% in 2030, and by 83% in 2050. The House is now expected to vote on the amended bill in the next few months.
The most controversial plan under the bill is the proposed cap-and-trade (or is it tax?) program where it would cap US industrial and transportation emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases (GHG) and auction emissions permits to the broad industrial sector. The sale of emissions permits would likely raise $646bn during its first eight years of implementation, according to the White House.
The National Petrochemical Refiners Association (NPRA) released a statement
saying that foreign refiners, whose operating costs are much lower,
will gain a distinct advantage over American businesses in the
marketplace if the bill is implemented.
"The whole notion of capping carbon dioxide emissions, issuing allowances disproportionately to favored industries, and hoping that the false promise of 'green jobs' could gloss over the current and real jobs that will be lost." - NPRAThe American Chemistry Council (ACC) pointed out a more detailed analysis and suggestions where the bill can be revised to "prevent the leakage of U.S. production, jobs and emissions to other nations."
"The bill's emission reduction target/timetable, treatment of energy feedstocks, and energy efficiency provisions represent improvements over past versions. However, some of the key issues related to the competitiveness of energy-intensive manufacturers have not yet been adequately addressed, and changes are necessary." - ACCThe American Petroleum Institute (API) said the bill will have a disproportionate adverse impact on consumers, businesses and producers of gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel, crude oil and natural gas. API said an average family will pay an additional $1,500 a year for energy and 74 percent more for gasoline.
"Today, that would mean gasoline prices above $4.00 a gallon, an increase nearly equivalent to a ten-fold rise in the federal gasoline tax." - APIWhile several environmental groups applaud the bill such as the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) , others such as Greenpeace are not happy with it. Greenpeace said the bill is different from when it was drafted two weeks ago.
Several recent news reports indicate strong oppositions such as the House Agriculture committee and several committees in the Senate.
For ICIS subscribers, check out several more news stories about the climate change bill: