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June 17, 2009 by Alice Kaswan

The Waxman-Markey Bill's Federal-State Partnership

The Waxman-Markey bill, in its current form, continues the nation’s wise respect for the complementary roles of the federal government and the states. By establishing a national cap and a national trading program, the bill would draw all states into the essential task of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. But, like the federal environmental laws before it, the bill simultaneously provides states with the power to achieve more stringent reductions. Although industry may resist the prospect of state control, Congress should maintain the balance between federal and state power the bill has established.

The Clean Air Act, which the bill amends, already allows states to set more stringent regulatory standards for facilities in their states. In a national cap-and-trade program, however, that power could be rendered meaningless due to the interconnections among the states created by a national trading system. For example, if a state were to impose more stringent GHG standards on in-state facilities, the facilities would, as a result, use fewer allowances from the national trading system. But the emissions reduction would be illusory: less heavily regulated facilities in other states would simply buy up the allowances freed up by sources in more-heavily regulated states. Thus, even …

April 2, 2009 by Alice Kaswan
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On Tuesday, March 31, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) released a "discussion draft" of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 – a climate change bill that will serve as the starting point for long-delayed congressional action on the world’s most pressing environmental program. CPRBlog asked several Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholars to examine different aspects of the 648-page Waxman-Markey bill. This entry, by Alice Kaswan, examines the bill’s implications for environmental justice issues. 

Climate change legislation is obviously essential to protecting the planet from catastrophic global warming. But that’s not all it can do. The fundamental changes in our energy infrastructure that lie ahead provide the opportunity to achieve unfinished business. Climate legislation could not only allow us to achieve greater energy security, as the bill’s name suggests, it could also …

April 2, 2009 by Alice Kaswan
WorkerSafetyCollage_wide.jpg

On Tuesday, March 31, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA) released a “discussion draft” of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 – a climate change bill that will serve as the starting point for long-delayed congressional action on the world’s most pressing environmental program. CPRBlog asked several Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholars to examine different aspects of the 648-page Waxman-Markey bill. This entry, by Alice Kaswan, examines several issues in the bill, including the issue of co-pollutants (non-greenhouse gas, but nevertheless polluting, emissions), the need for state-federal partnership on transportation and land-use issues related to climate change, and the bill’s provision removing greenhouse gas emissions from EPA’s jurisdiction under the Clean Air Act but apparently allowing states to impose their own clean air requirements in some areas.

Representatives Waxman and Markey’s “discussion …

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