American Power Act Bows to Controversy

Following a “leak” Wednesday night, Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) introduced the “American Power Act,” senate bill that some have called reflective of a series of compromises, but represents the next step in a tripartisan climate bill nonetheless.

While John Kerry gave an exclusive to grist.org, Amercian Spectator’s Chris Horner calls it the “Disgraceful Display of the Day‎.” Triple Pundit hits the high points here. And here’s some video of Kerry trying to set the record straight on CBS:

The American Power Act sets 2020 as the target for a 17% reduction in emissions from 2005 levels. New York Times’ Dot Earth blog called the bill’s long-term target of an 80% cut in emissions by 2050 “fantasy baseball,” but hey. A summary is available here, the full document here.

What’s interesting is that simultaneously in Washington, the Energy Efficiency Global Forum and Exhibition is not only attracting the latest and greatest industry advances in energy efficiency, it featured Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska, pictured) talking up last July’s American Clean Energy Leadership Act, which was packed with energy efficiency mandates. Since then, the legislation has languished.

But the Deepwater Horizon oil spill has captured the attention of a nation, and the American Power Act is the crystallization of that attention right now. Murkowski articulated that efficiency is easier to agree on than climate change strategy, Tom Zeller reported in Green this week.

Closer to home, Oregon adopted the 2010 Oregon Energy Efficiency Specialty Code for  new commercial construction. Effective July 1, the code aims to achieve a 15% reduction in energy use in new commercial construction, as reported by Sustainable Business Oregon on Tuesday. An optional, “reach code” of voluntary standards is still being chiseled out.

Thanks to behindthegreen.org for the image.

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