WASHINGTON - A drastically weakened U.S. climate bill released
Monday favors polluting industries over truly sustainable clean energy
solutions, argues Daphne Wysham, director of a sustainable energy and
economy think tank.
What's the Story?
"Right out of
the starting gate, the [American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009]
provides a ridiculous number of giveaways to industry," writes Wysham,
Institute for Policy Studies fellow and director of the Sustainable
Energy & Economy Network.
Specifically, 85 percent or more of
pollution permits would be given free of cost to the electricity
sector, leaving low- to moderate-income families vulnerable to
inevitable energy price hikes.
The bill would also create the
largest market for carbon emissions in the world. This will enable
industries that pollute above permitted emissions levels to buy carbon
credits from companies that pollute below these levels. However, "the
Government Accountability Office (GAO) claims it's virtually impossible
to verify whether carbon offsets represent real emissions reductions,"