“The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009: An Overview of its Cap-and-Trade Provisions”

On March 31, 2009, Representatives Henry Waxman (D – Cal.) and Edward Markey (D – Mass.) released a discussion draft of their promised American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (the “Act”).  The Act contains four titles: Title I – Clean Energy - which would promote renewable sources of energy and carbon capture and sequestration, low-carbon transportation fuels, clean electric vehicles and smart grid and electricity transmission; (2) Title II – Energy Efficiency - which would increase energy efficiency standards across various sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation, and industry; (3) Title III – Reducing Global Warming Pollution - which would place limits on the emissions of greenhouse gases and implements a national cap-and-trade program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions starting in 2012; and (4) Title IV – Transitioning to a Clean Energy Economy - which would provide support to U.S. consumers and industry and promotes green jobs during the transition to a green economy.  Representatives of the coal industry and the US Climate Action Partnership, a consortium of industry and non-profits, have already released favorable statements with respect to the Act, a significant step in the move toward passage of comprehensive climate change legislation.   

This article provides a brief overview of the key provisions of the cap-and-trade program in the proposed legislation.