House Energy Bill Aims for Short Mark-Up

By Published On: May 8, 2009

U.S. Representative Henry Waxman (D-CA) vowed to have his House Energy & Commerce Committee delineate the encompassing energy legislation for this year by May 25. The American Clean Energy & Security Act of 2009 faces opposition from Republicans and “rust belt” Democrats. Waxman’s committee is apparently clashing with the House Ways & Means Committee. According to sources, the latter committee wants a say in allocating renewable energy funding. Moved May 6 in a committee mark-up is a clause for a “Clean Energy Deployment Administration” that would garner $10 billion to help financing for renewable energy projects, according to sources. Some moderate Democrats favor postponing action on legislation this year to avoid divisiveness and focus, instead, on healthcare reform. President Barack Obama reportedly told Waxman and the committee to move ahead with the energy bill. Waxman stated that committee Democrats are “trying to be mindful” of diverse regional interests and energy resources--as well as economic impacts. Representative Mike Doyle (D-PA) said that the committee is close to reaching consensus. He added that most of the emission permits in a cap-and-trade market that the new legislation would allow would be given away for free to industry for the first 10-15 years of a market system for trading emissions credits. The president called for an auction of credits, instead of a giveaway. However, the administration signaled it could ease up on that requirement.

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