The Waxman-Markey American Clean Energy & Security Act has just passed a key procedural vote by the narrow margin of 217-205. The vote approves the rule for debating the proposed legislation, and Democratic leaders are optimistic that final passage could happen later today.
The bill proposes a cap-and-trade plan to create a market and put a price on carbon, aimed at reducing emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020 (only 4% below 1990, the commonly used benchmark year for gauging emissions reductions), and 80% by 2050.
The bill has faced an unprecedented lobbying effort in opposition, and many environmental groups are against the bill as well, saying it doesn't go far enough. I would agree that it isn't enough, but am more worried of "the perfect becoming the enemy of the good." We must get started now, even if it means passage of a flawed bill with deep concessions to the vested interests of "business as usual". Failure to pass climate legislation at this juncture will have consequences that reach to the upcoming COP15 climate talks this December, and the international community's ability to reach a deal for a post-Kyoto climate treaty starting in 2012.
While we await final word on the bill's passage, I offer some further resources and links:
Daily Kos - ACES is Not a Victory for the Environmental Movement
Red, Green, and Blue - What the Big Green Guns are Saying
Climate Progress - 10 Reasons to Support Waxman-Markey Energy Bill
Climate Progress - ABC-WP Poll: Clear Majority of Americans Approve...