Friday, April 3, 2009

American Clean Energy and Security Act AKA the Waxman - Markey bill

The Waxman - Markey draft measure sets a more ambitious goal for capping heat-trapping gases than the President’s cap and trade proposal. Both the President’s proposal and the Waxman - Markey bill would create markets for pollution credits, where businesses that release more greenhouse gases than they are permitted would buy pollution credits and businesses that released less greenhouse gases than they are permitted would sell their extra credits.
Many politicians and members of the public worry about the cost of such environmental legislation in turbulent economic times. For instance businesses that release heat trapping gases would initially have to buy pollution permits from the government; these businesses would in turn raise the cost they charged consumers for their products to cover their increased operating costs.


The bill does not stipulate how the billions of dollars raised from selling pollution permits to businesses is to be spent, or whether the revenue would be returned to consumers to compensate for higher energy bills.
Teaching with the Constitution
Ask your students to follow the progress of this bill by going to our Citizens Help Desk where your students can read the text of the bill, track votes on it and investigate the bill's sponsors all from the Citizens Help Desk on the National Constitution Center's website. The Citizens Help Desk also provides up to the minute information on the bill's status.

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