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Senators Sanders, Boxer propose legislation to institute GHG price on large stationary sources and remove support for fossil fuel industries

15 February 2013

Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) introduced legislation that would set an escalating fee on greenhouse gas emissions from large stationary sources to fund investments in energy efficiency and sustainable energy technologies and also provide rebates to consumers to offset increases in energy prices. The legislation also proposes numerous actions against financing and support for fossil fuel industries.

The proposal was drafted as two measures, the Climate Protection Act—which sets the carbon price and finance programs for sustainable technologies—and the Sustainable Energy Act—which ends federal support for fossil fuel companies and research and extends tax incentives for renewables. Among the financing provisions of the legislation are:

  • Price on carbon. The legislation would enact a fee of $20 per ton or carbon or methane equivalent, rising at 5.6% per year over a 10-year period. Applied upstream, the fee would apply to 2,869 of the largest stationary sources, covering about 85% of US greenhouse gas emissions, according to the Congressional Research Service.

    The Congressional Budget Office estimates this would raise $1.2 trillion in revenue over 10 years and reduce GHG emissions by approximately 20% from 2005 levels by 2025.

  • Investment in energy efficiency and sustainable energy. A portion of the revenues raised would be used to weatherize 1 million homes per year; triple the budget for ARPA-E; create a sustainable technologies finance program to leverage $500 billion for investments; invest in domestic manufacturing; and fund $1 billion per year in worker training.

  • Rebate program. The Family Clean Energy Rebate Program would use 60% of the funds from the carbon fee and use the model developed by Alaska’s oil dividend to provide a monthly rebate to every legal US resident to offset potential energy price increases.

  • International sources. Imported fuels and products would also be charged the same carbon fee that domestic fuels and products play, unless the exporting nation has similar climate program and already charges a fee on carbon.

  • Debt reduction. Approximately $300 billion would go to debt reduction over 10 years.

The Sustainable Energy Act eliminates a number of areas of financial benefit for fossil fuel companies and research, including the elimination of royalty relief. It also repeals sections of existing energy legislation dealing with ultra-deepwater and unconventional natural gas and other petroleum resources; removes limits on liability for offshore operations and pipeline operators; rescinds all unobligated funds to the World Bank and the Ex-Im Bank for financing projects that support coal, oil, or natural gas; terminates the DOE Office of Fossil Energy Research and Development; prohibits the use of DOT funds to award any grant, loan, loan guarantee, or provide any other direct assistance to any rail or port project that transports coal, oil, or natural gas; terminates fossil fuel tax breaks; and institutes numerous other accounting and tax changes on the fossil fuel industries.

February 15, 2013 in Climate Change, Coal, Emissions, Natural Gas, Oil, Policy | Permalink | Comments (22) | TrackBack (0)

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Yes, Yes. A million times YES! This needs to happen yesterday.

In a time where Oil companies are making BILLIONS of dollars in PROFITS, they do NOT need anymore handouts.

Fossil Fuels, especially cheap Oil, has led us to where we are today and has been the major driver of the industrial revolution, and as a result the technological revolution.

Just like Kerosene was made obsolete by Electricity and Gasoline, so should Fossil Fuels by Clean Energies which have hit prime time, i.e. Wind, Solar, Geothermal and eventually Wave, OTEC, etc.

This legislation will certaintly bring out oil's ugliest dollars. Old monopolies are getting desperate.

EVs are already undergoing "they are failures" attacks, but no one mentions the first two years of Leaf sales exceeded the first two years of Ford Model T sales.

There's huge media coverage of a under-charged Tesla Model S running out of fuel on Tesla's new free East Coast supercharging route, but no one mentions how far ICE cars run out of FREE gasoline(0 miles).

After a dozen years of adding US troops to a southeast Asia country, during October 1963 JFK removed the first thousand troops.

JFK was assassinated in an oil state the next month, and he had a functional Congress..

This legislation will certaintly bring out oil's ugliest dollars. Old monopolies are getting desperate.

EVs are already undergoing "they are failures" attacks, but no one mentions the first two years of Leaf sales exceeded the first two years of Ford Model T sales.

There's huge media coverage of a under-charged Tesla Model S running out of fuel on Tesla's new free East Coast supercharging route, but no one mentions how far ICE cars run out of FREE gasoline(0 miles).

After a dozen years of adding US troops to a southeast Asia country, during October 1963 JFK removed the first thousand troops.

JFK was assassinated in an oil state the next month, and he had a functional Congress..

Unfortunately, you are both probably right. Oil and Coal lobbies will spend $$B trying to fight this and protect their masters.

Wonder if they will go as far as hiring the underworld and crackpots to fight their cause and use many other not too honest schemes?

Carter had a windfall profits tax with an energy fund proposal in 1979, that was shot down by the usual suspects as well.

"the usual suspects"

Do you mean like Boxer and Sanders?

This legislation is going nowhere because it it is just a tax bill aimed at other states than the loons that vote for Boxer and Sanders.

The thing that amazes me about the AGW freaks is how much they like stuff that will not reduce ghg very much.

"Wind, Solar, Geothermal and eventually Wave, OTEC, etc."

But let us not discuss nuclear as an option.

"But let us not discuss nuclear as an option.(and its loons)" were discussed and demonstrated for sixty years.

"demonstrated for sixty years"

Demonstrated to work very well. As does geothermal and biomass. When Boxer and Sanders are against nuclear power, it makes me think that they are not interested in solving a problem but using it as an excuse to raise taxes.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced, "Nuclear Storage Tank In Washington Is Leaking Radioactive Waste"

Kit P, "Demonstrated to work very well."

http://www.businessinsider.com/nuclear-storage-tank-in-washington-is-leaking-radioactive-waste-2013-2

Kit P, should this be added to your dozens of nonsense "nuclear waste is no scientific problem" comments?

http://www.greencarcongress.com/2013/01/vw-20130124.html


Does kelley bother to read the links he posts?

First off, this has nothing to do with commercial nuclear power. Handford is where plutonium was produced for weapons.

Second there is not a problem.

“Monitoring wells near the tank have not detected higher radiation levels”

The governor of Washington is always conserned. It is a political thing not a scientific thing.

“The tank, built in the 1940s, ...”

We lived and raised our children in Richland. One of our sones still lives there and we will retire there. We have a boat in the Columbia River. I am not the least bit concerned about exposure to radioactive material from Hanford.

“At the height of World War II, the federal government created Hanford in the remote sagebrush of eastern Washington ....”

While I was not around back then, the Manhattan Project was an amazing engineering feat. Protecting the environment was not a big concern during WWII.

There are those who ignore that facts that nuclear power prodces about 20% of our power. Handling spent nuclear fuel has not been a problem. While kelley might be concerned but his concerns are unfounded. Nuclear power works.

I get accused of not providing links. I usually do not bother because they get ignored. Links about solar PV were provided to kelly who ignored solar does not work in his backyard. The purpose of solar is to provided a nice picture for those who want to greenwash their product.

@Kit P, only you can find $12.3 billions of dollars lost, "Second there is not a problem."

Quote, "In addition, construction of a $12.3 billion plant to convert the waste to a safe, stable form is years behind schedule and billions of dollars over budget. Technical problems have slowed the project, and several workers have filed lawsuits in recent months, claiming they were retaliated against for raising concerns about the plant's design and safety."

Your not an experienced electrical engineer or MBA.

Briefly, IF nuclear power was an honest commodity with single digit profit margins(1% to 9%) - it would require over $100 to $900 BILLION REVENUE just to produce a 'breakeven' $12.3 Billion - and counting.

As you wisely point out, Hanford nuclear reservation has NO revenue, rather less profit.

This nuclear waste mess could't be cleaned or fixed "since the 1940's", over seventy years - and will likely not fixed in hundreds of year, with thousands of years of radioactive half-lives and more dozens of $billions wasted.

This is the key US nuke and fossil fuel lie - the pollution and health cost would easily double the "pump" price, but the tax payer subsidizes you.

European $8/gallon fuel includes some pollution costs. Full war and health costs would yeild double digit(>$10/gal) fuel.

Private investment will NOT finance nuclear risk any longer.

Even public governments will not indemnify thousand year radiation waste liability into possible $TRILLIONS.

Green power is a relative bargain, as Germany, Japan, etc. know and massively build accordingly.

There is a difference between used nuclear fuel and high level radioactive waste.

Used nuclear fuel fuel is not a waste at all since only 5% of the energy from fission is used. A fuel pellet is a uranium oxide ceramic pellet. Ceramic materials do not readily disolve in how water which is why coffee cups are often made of ceramic materials.

The ceramic pellets are inside zirconium tubes that are very corrosion resistant. The tubes are made into fuel assemblies. When the used fuel assemblies are removed from the reactor is is done under water since 7 feet of water is need to provide shielding for the refueling bridge operator.

The used fuel assemblies are placed in the spent fuel pool where they are water cooled. After about five years, the used fuel assemblies can be placed in dry cask storage because they no longer need water cooling or shielding. At this point spent fuel is about as hazardous a concrete center divider you see used at road construction.

The high level waste at Hand ford is the result of dissolving the fuel assemblies in acid to recover weapons grade plutonium. The solution for this waste is to turn it into a ceramic 'glass' like material (vitrification) so it can be put in dry case storage without worrying about it leaking out.

About 15 years ago I worked on the 'Vitrification Plant' proposal for my company. Our bid was several billion higher than the competition and we lost out. The other company started construction but stopped when it was realized that seismic standards required by the NRC were not being met. The construction has restarted but finishing it will be delayed a few years.

So what happens if a tank leak at Handford in the meantime? You get get some radioactive sand. There is more than one way to immobilize waste in a semi-arid climate.

“Your not an experienced electrical engineer or MBA. ”

That is true I not an EE or MBA but I know the difference difference between a government cleanup of a defense project and a commercial power plant.

I am all for reducing how the government waste our tax dollars. Maybe we should start with subsidizing PV that does not work and creates tons of hazardous waste.

“This nuclear waste mess couldn't be cleaned or fixed ”

The Hanford Site is one of the more pristine places in Washington State. One the great ironies is that a nuclear weapons facilities where that were set aside from commercial development is very much like when Lewis and Clark explored the area. I have hiked the Arid Lands Preserve and canoed the Hanford Reach. In fact, kelly keeps talking about a mess but fails to understand the issues.

Furthermore, first we had the win the cold war. Sine 1990, most of the more critical issues at Hadford have been resolved.

“with thousands of years of radioactive half-lives ”

I understand why kelly is confused. He has an inadequate educations for the subject. EE & MBA are generally experienced in nuclear physics.

Element with a long half-lives are not radiological hazards. The shorter the half-life the higher the radiation. We often wait until the radioactive material decays away. We typically wait three days before we start moving used fuel at a commercial power plant.

“health cost ”

Of course there is not health cost except for the anxiety that irrational fear that some have for insignificant risk. It is very easy to measure radiation levels far below the the levels that cause any harm.

While kelley ignores the links that say solar does not work very well where he lives, he refuses to admit that the nuke plant that provides him power where he lives causes him zero exposure.

Nice try but the levelized costs of nuclear energy are on the outer edges of affordability. The technology requires the implementation of various technological implementations to be considered "safe" and there is a limit to the amount of cost cutting and technological innovation to keep safety levels high while lowering costs. Alternative energy has much more technological slack to implement cost savings than nuclear. We don't fully take into account the costs of storage or other aspects of waste, not do we take into account the cost of plant remediation.

Nuclear commercial power came from from military development costs, but decades of subsidies and amortization should have ended by the 1970s.

Like the Pentagon Papers, the US government KNEW there was no solution to radioactive waste. It took forty years just TO STOP ISSUING NUCLEAR PERMITS.

From the income statement http://finance.yahoo.com/q/is?s=AEE , Ameren claims ~1/4 $billion annual net income.

It would then take ~50 years of profits to pay for cleaning your "safe,..no problem.., "The Hanford Site is one of the more pristine places in Washington State." location which your Governor declares "..Is Leaking Radioactive Waste."

Multiply this by decades of radioactive waste in a hundred US nuclear power plants for ~the most expensive electricity on earth.

I can watch the Ameren Callaway nuclear plant plume from my farm and am horrified to think someone like you is on the control console.

Like the over a million total humans evacuated from Chernobol, Fukushima, .. nuclear accidents - the specific radiation isotopes potentially shortening my life are less important than the "shortening my life" part.

Before, you've stated that LA has no smog problem, as if the prior worst sixty years had no health effect.

I've been in LA 200X coughing and tearing from pollution ON CHRISTMAS EVE!

Now, it's also seventy years of prior and ongoing radiation you think is "No problem." to health or finance.

Repeat after others, for reality:

"Private investment will NOT finance nuclear risk any longer.

Even public governments will not indemnify thousand year radiation waste liability into possible $TRILLIONS."

"We don't fully take into account the costs of storage or other aspects of waste, not do we take into account the cost of plant remediation."..aym

"Green power is a relative bargain, as Germany, Japan, etc. know and massively build accordingly."

“decades of subsidies ”

Commercial nuke plants are not subsidized. They pay lots of taxes. You could say nuke plants subsidize the federal government.

“We don't fully take into account the costs of storage or other aspects of waste, not do we take into account the cost of plant remediation. ”

Of course we do. It is in the operating cost of each nuke plant. Of course the funds set aside to decommission commercial nuke plants do not cover defense projects.

“Multiply this by decades of radioactive waste ”

There is is not decades of radioactive waste at commercial nuke plants. These waste are sent to special landfills. Used nuclear fuel will be sent to a geological repository. Again the this has already been paid for and has nothing to do with Hanford.

“I've been in LA 200X coughing and tearing from pollution ”

Silly boy, there are no coal power plants in California.

"shortening my life"

Too late old guy. The irony is that kelley is using a computer powered with coal and nuclear power.

@Kit P, LA smog is mainly automobile exhaust having already caused tens of $billions in healthcare costs and thousands of deaths over decades.

This is why California fights for zero emission vehicles and pollution control.

The Madison Square Garden(pictures on wiki) holds about 20,000 people and most of us have seen events televised from there.

Visualize most of the seats(12,300) filled and each occupant is a millionaire.

Now the occupants are ALL homeless, zero($0) net worth.

12,300 broke millionaires are how much money($12.3B) has already been lost on just ONE failed nuclear waste cleanup facility.

Kit P's insistence that nuclear waste is no problem exhibits additional effects of nuclear radiation.


"caused"

You mean 'contributed' to health problems. That is also the past tense of the verb.

We have cleaned up the air without BEV. The present level of air pollution is not harmful.

"nuclear radiation"

Radiation is all around us. It is natural. None the radiation is from nuke plants. It takes a lot of radiation to be harmful.

It takes around 75 Rem to cause harm and about 400 to kill without medical treatment. The amount of radiation you could get is a matter of public record if kelly wanted to look it up. Put a number on kelly.

"We have cleaned up the air without BEV. The present level of air pollution is not harmful."

Leave your cave. There are unhealthly levels of air pollution in seven US cities and two states this minute.

http://airnow.gov/index.cfm?action=airnow.actiondays
http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2012/12/21/Smog-alerts-higher-2012-heat.html

Your logic is like a 30-year-smoker dying of lung cancer in a hospital, but saying cigarettes had nothing to do with it, because no smoking is allowed.

" The amount of radiation .. put a number on [it] kelly."

$12,300,000,000 or 900,000 dead, first 15 years, or 200 times the radiation released by Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs, much which is carried around the world

http://www.chernobylcongress.org/fileadmin/user_upload/pdfs/fairlie.pdf , including many pictures and charts.

“There are unhealthly levels of air pollution in seven US cities and two states this minute.”

Again Kelly is wrong but he at least found a good link and only needs to learn how to use it. Alerts are conservative predictions of what conditions might be tomorrow. I checked AIRNOW and the worse AQI = 81 in Ogden at the moment. This is in the moderate range not the unhealthy range. Besides ‘forecast’ and ‘current’, you can select ‘AQI animation’ to see what is the AQI during the whole day. So if you on a respirator you may want to avoid going jogging at 2 pm.

When it comes to radiation, Kelly’s logic is like his neighbor in Missouri smokes so therefore I will die of lung cancer because the smoke ‘is carried around the world’.

You have to be exposed to a hazard for it to hurt you. The commitment we make in the American nuclear power industry is to not hurt anyone with radiation while producing electricity for our customers even when things go wrong. We have kept that commitment and not harmed anyone.

" Alerts are conservative predictions of what conditions might be tomorrow." but not today? - wrong.

"The commitment we make in the American nuclear power industry is to not hurt anyone with radiation while producing electricity for our customers even when things go wrong."

The latest US $12.3B nuclear waste clean-up/screw-up exposed is SEVERAL TIMES the amount EV detractors wine about for 4 years of ALL Obama DOE EV programs.

Kill this nuclear money pit.

U.N. Climate chief admits no AGW for the last 17 years:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nothing-off-limits-in-climate-debate/story-e6frg6n6-1226583112134

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