Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced a revolutionary new global warming bill today that would reduce global warming pollution according to scientific targets, reinvest any revenue back to American workers and technology, and would re-establish America as a leader in solving the globe's greatest challenge, climate change.
At a speech at the Center for American Progress this morning, Rep. Markey, who is Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, and a senior member of the Energy and Commerce and Natural Resources Committees, laid out his science- and consumer-based vision for climate legislation.
"I am here today because the chorus for change is deafening. The time for action is now," said Rep. Markey in his prepared remarks. "We must cap pollution, we must invest in consumers, jobs and the technology of tomorrow, and America must lead the world in solving our greatest challenges, and we must start now."
The bill is called the Investing in Climate Action and Protection Act, or iCAP for short, the small "i" a tip of the cap to the technological potential of clean energy. The bill also proffers a new paradigm in global warming legislation: the Cap-and-Invest system. The bill caps pollution at 85 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. It then uses an auction system that sets a price on carbon, and allows companies to compete for reductions, or buy or trade credits within the system.
It then takes the expected $8 trillion in revenues expected from polluters over the length of the bill, and reinvests that money back to American families and workers and into promoting a clean energy economy. More than half of the funds from the bill goes directly back to low- and middle-income American families to offset any increases in energy costs from the transition of the economy to low- or zero-carbon energy.
iCAP also invests in green collar job training for workers in a clean energy economy, mass transit and smart growth, energy efficiency programs, adaptation measures here in the United States and around the world, and many other programs that will benefit both the economy and the environment.
"We must invest in the American economy and in American workers, and launch an energy technology renaissance that will rival the information technology revolution of the past decade," said Rep. Markey. "We all benefited from the Industrial Age, and we have watched the dawn of the Information Age. Today, let's start the Clean Energy Age."
The bill will be introduced next week when Congress is back in session. More information on the bill is available on Rep. Markey's website and more information on global warming is available on the Select Committee website.