The American Clean Energy and Security Act


On Friday, June 26th, the US House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act (or the Waxman-Markey Bill), a move being hailed a huge victory for the Obama administration. Like any major environmental bill, however, this act has faced serious criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike. And, like most pollution legislation, lawmakers have pitted the environment against the economy, an impossible choice for the American public. Here, ENN has decoded the American Clean Energy and Security Act so that you may make your own conclusions about the ramifications of its passing.

What It Provides For:

  • The EPA will be placed in charge of cap-and-trade programs, one for greenhouse gasses and one for hydroflourocarbons.
  • For the first time, regulatory agencies will be able to enforce greenhouse gas reductions.
  • An electric vehicle “infrastructure” is a goal, and offices have been created to aid the completion of this initiative.
  • Government agencies have been formulated in order to promote energy efficient appliances and easy access to them.
  • There will be monetary rewards for energy innovation and conservation at electric and thermal energy facility facilities
  • Emissions allowances will be enacted
  • An energy refund program will take effect to aid low- income families adversely affected by the costs of the act.
  • An action plan and government body will be formed to prepare for the negative health impacts of climate change

Probable PROs of the American Clean Energy and Security Act:

  • Forced innovation, invention, and investment in new green technologies, will make America a leader in green technology.
  • Reduction of US dependence on foreign oil.
  • Creation of US- based jobs and economic stimuli.

Probable CONs of the American Clean Energy and Security Act:

  • Potential for a tax burden on the American middle and upper classes.
  • A rise in the cost of energy on production, which will likely cause a financial burden on consumers.
  • An increased exportation of jobs overseas to countries without pollution standards (and the economic ramifications of US unemployment).

What do you think? Is the American Clean Energy and Security Act a positive change in environmental legislation or is it simply the summation of good intentions but bad ideas?

by M. Molendyke

  • Chris
    Jun 29th, 2009 at 14:02 | #1

    Ultimately, making energy-cost more in line with its “effect” (cost-of-production plus an environmental cost-of-using) is the best way to move the society as a whole in the direction of sustainability. This bill does this in a politically attainable way. As such, it is a step in the right direction.

  • alice hallstrom
    Jul 3rd, 2009 at 09:09 | #2

    With the terrible slowdown of the entire economy which is greatly affecting us where we are trying to sustain an environmental logging operation to provide the needs for wood waste biofuel studies and implementation, along with trying to make needed wood products available, and to make a living at this time with primary thought of keeping the issue of the environment, we desperately need money to get the harassing bank off our back until all of this can be implemented. We want to keep going. Is there a place where we can find available monies?

  • Molly
    Jul 3rd, 2009 at 10:44 | #3

    First, what organization do you work for, and what are its goals? Second, in no way do I claim to be an authority on environmental charities or bank loans, but if you have exhausted all other options and your company is running out of money with which to operate, I might suggest taking your case to some major companies. Many huge corporations, even those that produce clothing, food, and television, are looking for two things: To look good in the public eye by getting involved in “going green”, and to catch some good tax breaks. The worst thing that can happen by asking for a loan or sponsorship from a major company is that they say no (in which case, you brush it off and move on), and the best case scenario is that they agree to help you out. Keep me updated on your progress, and tell me more about your organization!

  • Nicole
    Aug 15th, 2009 at 12:12 | #4

    I’m hoping that this act will create more jobs for us recent college graduates looking to break into the clean energy production and pollution mitigation field. Environmental legislation in the US has always seemed to produce more controversy than actual results, and the best way to reduce this is to close the loopholes. Lets see if any new jobs are created from this bill and hope it has more benefits than the bill reads to have.

  • Apr 3rd, 2012 at 07:58 | #5

    Ultimately it is beneficial to our next generation.Everywhere climate is changing, we should come forward to stop this change.

  • Sep 5th, 2015 at 13:02 | #6

    Nice post. I learn something new and challenging on blogs I stumbleupon every day.
    It’s always helpful to read through articles from other authors and practice a little something from their websites.

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