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Major Cap-and-Trade Draft Legislation Introduced in US House

31 March 2009

Representative Henry Waxman, Chairman of the US House of Representatives Energy & Commerce Committee, has introduced a major piece of draft legislation to create a domestic cap-and-trade program. The climate change component of the bill would establish an economy-wide cap and trade program to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions to 3% below 2005 levels by 2012, 20% below 2005 levels by 2020, 42% below 2005 levels by 2030 and 83% below 2005 levels by 2050.

It is worth remembering, this is only the first step in a long process of passing domestic legislation. In short, this draft needs to pass the House Energy & Commerce Committee and then pass the full House of Representatives. At some point, similar legislation needs to be introduced in the Senate (where the politics are much more complex than in the House), pass through the respective committee(s), and eventually the full Senate. Differences between the House and Senate bills then need to be reconciled, and only then can the President consider the legislation. This morning's action was in keeping with the timeline announced by the Chairman earlier this year.

"The domestic policy process has now started, but a long and arduous road remains ahead." said Michael Allegretti, North American Director of Government Affairs, The Climate Group.

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