Waxman-Markey Passes House

Scherer Coal Plant, Juliette, Ga.: dirtiest in the countryThe Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy and Security Act just passed the House by 219-212. It’s not entirely clear what’s in it, considering the 300 pages added yesterday. But if it’s anywhere near as good as its proponents suggest, it’s a step in the right direction.

My favorite parts are actually not in the bill itself; they’re analysis by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO):

  • Protect consumers from energy price increases. According to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency, the reductions in carbon pollution required by the legislation will cost American families less than a postage stamp per day. CBO calculates that the legislation will cost the average household less than 50 cents per day.
And if that wasn’t enough:
According to the CBO score of the legislation, ACES meets PAYGO requirements. For scoring purposes, CBO considers the creation of allowances as an increase in revenues and the free distribution of allowances as an offsetting outlay. Using this methodology, CBO estimates that the legislation will raise federal revenues by $846 billion over ten years and increase direct spending by $821 billion, resulting in a net $24 billion reduction in the federal budget deficit.
No, wait, this may be the best part:
ExxonMobil (XOM) , ConocoPhillips (COP), Chevron (CVX) and the American Petroleum Industry denounced the bill,
If the oil industry hates it, there must be something good about it.

Now we’ll see if it can get through the Senate without the oil industry turning benefits for renewables into renewable subsidies for the oil industry.

And the coal industry. The picture is of the Scherer coal plant in Juliette, Georgia (near Macon), which is the biggest single point source of carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S., and about the third biggest in the world. Most of the electrical power used in Lowndes County currently comes from this plant.