Last week, Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman and Rep. Ed Markey released the new version of their energy-climate change legislation. A few of the highlights of the new version of the bill are the removal of the low carbon fuel standard, lower initial emissions targets, and the plan for distribution of allowance allocations.
The details on how the legislation will allocate emissions allowances were released prior to the release of the legislation. The new plan will give away 85 percent of the allowances for free with 15 percent being auctioned. Under the plan, the electric utility industry would receive 35 percent of the allowances for free, the most for any industry. Investments in carbon capture and storage technology will also benefit from the free allowances, receiving two percent from 2014-2017 and five percent beginning in 2018.
The bill will begin markup procedures today. The Republicans are expected to offer up to 450 amendments and may require the reading of the whole 950-page bill, which could take up to 12 hours. In the end, the bill is expected to pass through full committee by the end of the week, potentially along a party line vote. That would allow the bill to be brought to the House floor over the summer.