Markey Unveils Sweeping Climate Change Legislation

Rep. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) unveiled sweeping climate change legislation on Wednesday, laying down an ambitious marker in the ongoing congressional debate over how to address global warming.

The chairman of the newly created House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, Markey was hand-picked by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) to lead the charge on one of Pelosi’s signature issues.

“The chorus for change is deafening,” Markey said in a speech unveiling the bill at the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.

“The call of this generation is to stop global warming. And today I put forth [this bill] as a signal of light for those who wish to stand together in the fight to save our planet.”

Markey’s bill is the culmination of over a year’s worth of work by the committee and represents the most ambitious climate change bill to date.

The bill would implement a cap and trade system to reduce carbon emissions 85% by 2050. The bill sets aggressive interim targets and implements almost a complete auction system for carbon credits. Over half of the estimated $8 trillion in profits from the auction would be returned to low- and middle- income households to compensate for increased energy costs.
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