Backers of weaning the U.S. off of non-renewable, foreign petroleum are giving mixed reviews to the latest climate bill introduced today in the U.S. Senate.
Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John Kerry (D-Mass.) debuted the “Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act,” an 821-page bill designed to “create clean energy jobs, reduce pollution, and protect American security by enhancing domestic energy production and combating global climate change,” as well as creating millions of green energy jobs. Part of that includes reducing carbon emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020 and 80 percent by 2050 compared to 2005 levels:
This is a security bill that puts Americans back in charge of our energy future and makes it clear that we will combat global climate change with American ingenuity. It is our country’s defense against the harms of pollution and the security risks of global climate change,” said Kerry. “Our health, our security, our economy, our environment, all demand we reinvent the way America uses energy. Our addiction to foreign oil hurts our economy, helps our enemies and risks our security.”
Senator Boxer said, “We know clean energy is the ticket to strong, stable economic growth — it’s right here in front of us, in the ingenuity of our workers and the vision of our entrepreneurs. We must seize this opportunity, or others will move ahead.”
Reaction to the measure has been mixed. U.S. Senator Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), Ranking Republican Member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, is not a fan:
“As I have stated many times before, I want to support legislation that addresses climate change and provides a more secure energy future for America. Unfortunately, the legislation introduced today by Senators Boxer and Kerry follows the House-passed bill down the path of higher energy costs, job losses and economic pain for no benefit. Further, it would only hurt farmers, ranchers and forest landowners and provide them no opportunity to recoup the higher costs they will pay for energy and the other inputs necessary to work the land. I cannot support this bill.”
But maker of algae-based renewable fuels, Sapphire Energy, sees great potential in the legislation:
The introduction – and ultimate passage – of Senator Boxer’s climate change bill will incentivize industrial emitters of CO2, like coal-burning electric power generators, to transfer their CO2 to companies like Sapphire Energy, whose process turns industrial waste and greenhouse gases (GHG) into low carbon gasoline, diesel and jet fuels.
While even others, such as Tom Buis, the CEO of Growth Energy… which represents America’s ethanol producers… are taking a wait-and-see approach:
”We look forward to the debate on energy and climate legislation in the United States Senate. It is our hope that whatever passes the Senate would contain the common sense solution inserted in the House version of the bill by Chairman Collin Peterson, to fix what is an unfair and inequitable international land-use change penalty being proposed against domestic ethanol and other biofuels. Ethanol is the only domestic-made alternative we have to foreign oil that creates U.S. jobs, cuts greenhouse gas emissions and reinforces our economic and national security.”
There’ll be a lot more said and done about the bill in the coming weeks and months. Stay tuned, and Domestic Fuel will keep you up-to-date.