EPA Releases Review of Climate Bill

Estimates suggest low-carbon energy could reach near 50% in next 40 years.

Published on: Apr 23, 2009

After declaring that carbon emissions were a threat to human health, the Environmental Protection Agency has given high marks to the climate bill put forward by the House Energy committee. According to the EPA, the Waxman-Markey bill, also known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, will drive the clean energy transformations of the U.S. economy and substantially reduce energy consumption and carbon emissions.

The EPA focused its analysis on the bill's proposed cap-and-trade mechanism. It assumes that carbon prices would range from $13 to $17 a ton in 2015, and would rise by about 5% a year. By 2020, carbon costs would reach $17 to $22 a ton. That is approximately what participants in a European Union cap-and-trade program are currently paying.

The E.P.A.'s analysis suggests that under the plan, the share of low-carbon and zero-carbon energy sources including renewable energy like wind and solar and nuclear and carbon-capture plants would rise to 26% of the nation's energy mix by 2030, and could reach 46% by 2050. The EPA estimated that without the policy, that share would remain at a steady 14%.