On Thursday, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce approved HR 2454, The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), by a vote of 33 to 25.

Sponsored by Congressmen Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Edward Markey (D-MA), the bill is designed to create millions of new clean-energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, enhance America’s energy independence and cut global-warming pollution.

Specifically, ACES contains four goals:

  • Promote renewable sources of energy, carbon capture and sequestration technologies, clean electric vehicles, and the smart grid and electricity transmission
  • Increase energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation and industry
  • Place limits on emissions of heat-trapping pollutants—cutting global-warming pollution by 17% (compared to 2005 levels) in 2020, by 42% in 2030 and by 83% in 2050
  • Protect U.S. consumers and industry while promoting green jobs during the transition to a clean-energy economy

“This bill, when enacted into law this year, will break our dependence on foreign oil, make our nation the world leader in clean-energy jobs and technology, and cut global-warming pollution,” Waxman said.

“With this plan, we will shape a new energy destiny for our country, where we innovate more and pollute less,” Markey added. ”Today, we have chosen bold action to preserve good-paying jobs here in America and preserve our planet.”

Joseph Mendelson, director of global-warming policy at the National Wildlife Federation, applauded the committee’s vote.

“The House is going into Memorial Day recess with a bang,” he said. “Committee passage of comprehensive energy legislation is a shot heard around the world. It marks a historic turning point in climate politics that secures America’s role as a leader in the clean-energy revolution.”

For Your Organic Bookshelf

The Waxman Report: How Congress Really Works
Climate Change: Picturing the Science