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Climate Change Legislation and Emerging Greenhouse Gas Regulation in the United States

Steven J. Christiansen, Energy Development: Access, Siting, Permitting, and Delivery on Public Lands

On February 17, 2009, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Act). This is an economic stimulus law that includes energy and environmental provisions. The total economic stimulus appropriation in the Act is $787 billion. The Act provides for spending in many areas including $61.3 billion in the energy and environmental arena: $11 billion for funding of a “smart” electric grid, $6.3 billion for state and local government to make investments in energy efficiency, $6 billion for renewable energy and electric transmission technology loan guarantees, $5 billion for weatherizing modest income homes, and $3.4 billion for carbon capture and sequestration experiments.

2. Proposed Legislation.

(a) U.S. House of Representatives

The primary climate change bill in the House is the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (H.R. 2454) (“ACES”). The sponsors of this bill are Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA). This bill has successfully made its way through the legislative process in the House and is awaiting action in the Senate. Some of the milestones this year in the progression of this bill through the House include the following:

March 31, 2009: Release of draft bill by Representatives Waxman and Markey;

April 20- 24, 2009: Hearings on draft bill before the House Energy & Commerce Committee;