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U.S. House passes bill to cap greenhouse gas emissions


July 7, 2009
By Pulp & Paper Canada

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on June 26 that would place caps on U.S. greenhouse gas emis…

The U.S. House of Representatives approved legislation on June 26 that would place caps on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sets nationals standard for the production of renewable electricity by 2020.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act (H.R. 2454) would cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 17% by 2020, from 2005 levels, and by 83% by 2050. At its core is a cap-and-trade program designed to achieve emission reductions. The energy and climate debate now moves the U.S. Senate, where Senators are expected to try to write their own version of the bill.

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American Forest & Paper Association president and CEO Donna Harman issued a statement following passage of the bill, expressing the association’s support of some components and drawing attention to some issues that remain a concern to the industry.

“The House bill now recognizes our existing renewable power generation and provides an inclusive definition of biomass. Also, the offsets provisions have improved and recognize the carbon stored in managed forests and forest products. We appreciate the good progress that the House of Representatives has made on these important issues.

“Problems remain that will challenge our international competitiveness, however. The allowance allocation and its rate of decline fail to address adequately the increased costs that the bill will impose on manufacturers.”

According to the New York Times, when the program is scheduled to begin, in 2012, the estimated price of a permit to emit a ton of carbon dioxide will be about $13. That is projected to rise steadily as emission limits come down.


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