The Carbon Reduction Act

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Act XIV of Energize America

Contents

Objective

To significantly reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Description

Leading experts believe that average temperatures across the world will climb by several degrees over the coming century. Icecaps and glaciers are already melting, sea levels are rising, and extreme weather events are occurring more frequently. Some portion of this change comes from burning hydrocarbons and producing carbon dioxide (CO2). Moreover, burning hydrocarbons causes health problems for many people. By themselves, the potential economic costs of these health effects and a changing climate run into the trillions of dollars.

The Carbon Reduction Act will apply to coal-fired power plants and other large industrial users that generate significant amounts of greenhouse gases. This act will regulate carbon dioxide (CO2) as a pollutant, just as the Clean Air Act has imposed gradually more stringent guidelines for other pollutants. By 2020, all coal-fired power plants and other coal burners must be operating at 30% reduced CO2 levels over today’s baseline, and by 2040 all CO2 emissions from these producers shall be reduced by 50% or more through both scrubbing and sequestration technologies.

The Carbon Reduction Act will establish guidelines for tradable CO2 certificates that can be used to motivate the market to achieving these objectives. These certificates, already traded on a voluntary basis today, would allow producers who invest in advanced clean coal technologies to sell their excess certificates regionally to less-advanced producers.

To ensure that transforming coal into synthetic fuels represents an actual improvement in CO2 production over burning petroleum products, all coal liquefaction or gasification plants will be required to use sequestration or scrubbing from the outset.

At the same time, the act will call for the Department of State and Department of Energy to reengage the world community on global climate change. America will rejoin and lead international efforts to find remedies for the ill effects of climate change, and will ensure that worldwide efforts are fair, thorough and do not put U.S. industry at a competitive disadvantage.

Benefits

The Carbon Reduction Act will reduce overall US CO2 emissions by 30% by 2020 over currently anticipated levels, and by 50% by 2040.

Investment

The Carbon Reduction Act will cost $100 million in incremental program management within the Department of Energy and Department of State through 2020, with the cost for all CO2 reduction equipment and related costs falling to the polluting entity.

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