Finally, a Dose of Sanity from Congress on Climate Legislation

New climate legislation by Congressman Markey is a step in the right direction.

Today, Congressman Ed Markey has announced that he will introduce the Investing in Climate Action and Protection (iCAP) Act next week. Unlike the Boxer-Lieberman-Warner Climate inSecurity Act (BLW CISA), the iCAP follows science calling for a reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in covered sectors by 85 percent by 2050. It also is serious in making polluters pay, with nearly 100 percent of pollution permits auctioned (94 percent in 2012, 100 percent by 2020). And, it has strong provisions to secure social equity (both domestically and internationally). In short, iCAP is in lines with the basic principles for global warming legislation.

The iCAP has significant focus on “investing”, on investing in a positive vision for dealing with Global Warming. “To heal this sick planet” in a way that will strengthen society, strengthen the economy at the same time.

Now, iCAP has a tremendous amount of value.

It also has a tremendous amount of material.

Having just seen the summary and read (and listened to via CSPAN) the speech, it is not the time to embrace the legislation as is, even within its strengths. For example, there look to be some uncertain elements. For example, let us take one point:

Return over half of auction proceeds to low- and middle-income households to help compensate for any increase in energy costs as a result of climate legislation.

The iCAP Act returns over half of auction proceeds to low- and middle-income households through rebates and tax credits. This will compensate all increased energy costs due to climate legislation for all households earning under $70,000 (66 percent of U.S. households), and will provide benefits to all households earning up to $110,000 (over 80 percent of U.S. households).
This raises a number of questions.
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