New House Climate Change Bill

The draft of a new climate change bill confirms rumblings on Capitol Hill last summer that the House will take the lead on cap-and-trade legislation in the new Congress.

The legislation by House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) and Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) would amend the Clean Air Act to create an economy-wide cap on greenhouse gases and reduce emissions by 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

The Senate’s major cap-and-trade bill, the Climate Security Act, stalled in the Senate this summer.

The new House proposal would cap power plants and oil producers, while requiring coal companies to use carbon capture and sequestration technology by a set date.

It also gives the Environmental Protection Agency authority to tailor emission standards for individual industries.

“The draft marks an important step in our ongoing efforts to address this increasingly serious problem,” Boucher and Dingell said in a statement.  “This puts us one step closer to our goal of crafting a bill that can be enacted quickly in the next Congress.”  

The House proposal, however, does not specify how the emission allowances would be allocated.

According to House Energy Committee aides, the draft took more than two years, 27 hearings and four white papers to produce.