Sens. Barbara Boxer and John Kerry have released their comprehensive climate bill, entitled “Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act.” The 821-page bill calls for a 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020, a greater reduction than that called for under Waxman-Markey. The bill has a number of placeholders, as Democrats and Republicans will continue negotiations in those areas.
The summary of the bill addresses the future of coal in the United States. It says about coal, “when burned using old technology, it produces dangerous pollutants that damage our health and cause climate change. That’s why we need to invest in gamechanging technologies that capture and store carbon pollution before it reaches the air we breathe.” To do so the bill would provide a mechanism to CCS research and development to be supported by $10 billion over 10 years, and additional funding would be provided to the first movers on CCS.
In what is likely an effort to secure votes from moderate Senators, the bill also includes a nuclear energy title that would provide increased financing for loan guarantees and regulatory risk insurance. The section also calls for new programs for advanced nuclear technology and nuclear waste management.