The Latest on the Climate and Clean Energy Bill

Grist has a piece by Nathaniel Keohane, Director of Economic Policy and Analysis at the Environmental Defense Fund, on how the America Power Act will return the vast majority of the emission allowance value to consumers and the public, even though some of the allowances will be distributed for free. Nathaniel acknowledges that

“some progressives worry that free allocation is at odds with cutting emissions.  After all, if you give emitters something for free, doesn’t that eliminate the “price on carbon” that creates an economic incentive to cut carbon emissions?  The answer, actually, is ‘no.'”

He explains that

“the value of allowances doesn’t depend on how they are allocated.  Rather, allowances have value because they are in scarce supply — thanks to the cap on emissions.  The tighter is the cap, the greater is the scarcity, and the higher is the value of allowances, all else equal. “

Also on Grist, David Roberts gives a great summary of the new economic study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics which details the effects of the American Power Act.

Here is one key highlight:

“Employment Effects: The Act prompts $41.1 billion in annual electricity sector investment between 2011 and 2030, $22.5 billion more than under business-as-usual. This stimulates U.S. economic growth and job creation in the first decade, increasing average annual employment by about 200,000 jobs.”

Nathaniel Keohane also weighs in on the Peterson Institute report on the Huffington Post. He starts off by explaining how:

“Opponents of climate legislation often claim that now is the wrong time to put a price on carbon, with the economy just emerging from a recession. But a must-read study released yesterday by the well-respected, nonpartisan Peterson Institute for International Economics shows that the reverse is actually true: passing climate legislation would provide the economy with a much-needed shot in the arm.”

Treehugger reports on the carbon tax enacted by Montgomery Country, Maryland.

“Not waiting for national legislation to set a price on carbon and kick start the journey to a low-carbon future, Montgomery County, Maryland has enacted one the country’s first carbon taxes. Passed by a vote of 8-to-1 the tax applies to stationary emitters of CO2 releasing more than one million tons annually into the atmosphere.”

On E2, Nancy Pelosi is urging Congress to act on climate legislation.

“Asked if she wants the Obama administration to address climate change through regulations if Congress fails to pass a bill this year, Pelosi responded, ‘It has to be done by statute.'”

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