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Waxman-Markey Federal Bill to Reduce GHG

In what is predicted to be a very close vote today, the famed American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (Waxman-Markey Bill) is on the floor of the US House of Representatives. The bill as it stands would require a cap and trade system (similar to that used in fighting acid rain) to be implemented nationwide for the largest greenhouse gas emitters. Emissions nationwide would be required to lower 17% by 2020 and 83% by 2050 from a 2005 baseline. If the house passes the bill, it will likely face an even tougher battle in the Senate, which would require a 60% vote to pass. President Obama announced during his campaign that climate change would be among the most important issues of his administration.

Our project was originally proposed due to the California legislation Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) and anticipated similar federal legislation. Hopefully our work will be useful for communities, newly charged with the task of lowering their greenhouse gas emissions. It is certainly a daunting task but an exciting opportunity. In the midst of an economic recession, these bills should be viewed as a catalyst for a new economy based on sustainability and smart growth. The five of us representing the Bren|AECOM group project look forward to favorable results with the Waxman-Markey bill and the larger steps that eventually follow it.

Read more: Washington Post, Associated Press