The House passed H.R. 2454 on June 26, 2009, by a vote of 219 to 212. Click here to see how your rep voted. The Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill—aka the American Clean Energy and Security Act, ACES, H.R. 2454 now moves on to the Senate.

Sometimes called the Waxman-Markey climate change bill, officially it is called the ‘‘American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009’’. The bill’s intent is

To create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy.

Most Americans know this bill as a “cap-and-trade” bill for the purpose of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and global warming by creating a system of pollution permits that energy companies must buy before releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

The reason for the existence of the expensive cap and trade scheme in H.R. 2454 is based on the global warming myth that man’s activities are producing significant temperature increases.

I have posted on the subject about the causes of global warming before. While no one doubts climate change the debate is about the cause. Those posts are listed here.

Global Warming Debunked (again)

Obfuscating Global Warming and the Cap and Trade bill

A New American posts an article titled “A Cooling Trend Toward Global Warming” which debunks the man-made causes of global warming.

This bill would lead to increased expenses for American households of thousands of dollars per year. A recent Congressional Budget Office report estimated that the cost per household would be as little as $175 per year. However, the Heritage Foundation has responded with “CBO Grossly Underestimates Costs of Cap and Trade,” in which they point out that the CBO study assumes nearly 100% of the increased costs for businesses will be rebated to consumers by the federal government (when has this ever happened?) and omits consideration of negative impacts on the economy of thousands of dollars per household per year. Bottom line, don’t rely on the CBO report to be an accurate forecast of the additional costs you’ll be paying each year due to this cap and trade bill. For additional analysis of the Waxman-Markey cap and trade bill, see “The Waxman-Markey Global Warming Bill: Is the Economic Pain Justified by the Environmental Gain?

The sections below isolate segments of the bill which impact buildings and homes built after 1976.


Subtitle A – Building Energy Efficiency Programs

Section 201, Greater Energy Efficiency in Building Codes

This section amends the Energy Conservation and Production Act to require the Secretary of Energy to support consensus code-setting organizations to establish building codes achieving 30% and 50% higher energy efficiency targets in 2010 and 2016, respectively, to establish codes directly if such organizations fail to do so, to include cool roofs standards, and to support state and local adoption of such advanced codes by supporting training and funding for energy efficiency code enforcement.

Section 202, Building Retrofit Program

This section establishes a program under which the Administrator of EPA, in consultation with the Secretary of Energy, supports development of standards and processes for retrofitting existing residential and nonresidential buildings. This section also authorizes the Secretary of Energy to provide funding to states to conduct cost-effective building retrofits, using local governments, other agencies or entities to carry out the work, through flexible forms of financial assistance up to 50% of the costs of retrofits, with funding increasing in proportion to efficiency achievement. This section also supports retrofits of historic buildings.

Section 203, Energy Efficient Manufactured Homes

This section establishes a program to provide federal rebates of up to $7,500 toward purchases of new Energy Star-rated manufactured homes for low-income families residing in pre-1976 manufactured homes.

Section 204, Building Energy Performance Labeling Program

This section establishes an EPA program to develop procedures to label buildings for their energy performance characteristics, using building type and consumption data to be developed by the Energy Information Administration. The program would be implemented by states in a manner suited to increasing public knowledge of building energy performance without hindering real estate transactions.

The bill sets new national efficiency standards for new residential and commercial buildings. It calls for buildings to be 30 percent more efficient by 2012, and 50 percent more efficient beginning in 2014. It ultimately calls for buildings to be 75 percent more efficient by 2029. But those efficiency benchmarks apply only to homes constructed after the bill becomes law, not currently existing ones.

There are some rumors afoot about how this section requires a building to be “labeled” by the EPA before a home can be sold. Read the Fact Check post which debunks this.

Subtitle C – Transportation Efficiency

Section 221, Emissions Standards

This section requires and sets deadlines for EPA to establish greenhouse gas emissions standards for new heavy-duty vehicles and engines and for nonroad vehicles and engines, including new marine vessels and locomotives, aircraft, and aircraft engines. Such standards will be established using existing authorities.

Section 222, Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reductions through Transportation Efficiency

This section amends Title VIII of the Clean Air Act to require states to establish goals for greenhouse gas reductions from the transportation sector and requires the submission of transportation plans to meet those goals by Metropolitan Planning Organizations for areas with populations exceeding 200,000 people. This section imposes sanctions on states that fail to submit goals or plans. This section authorizes a competitive grant program for development and implementation of plans.

Section 223, SmartWay Transportation Efficiency Programs

This section amends Title VIII of the Clean Air Act to expand an existing EPA loan and fuel saving technology deployment program, the SmartWay Transport Partnership, to help American truckers upgrade to more fuel efficient and less polluting vehicles.

Section 224, State Vehicle Fleets

This section requires the Secretary of Energy to update state fleet rules to be consistent with current law.

Subtitle D – Industrial Energy Efficiency Programs

Sec 241, Industrial Plant Energy Efficiency Standards

This section requires the Secretary of Energy to establish standards for industrial energy efficiency and to seek recognition of result by American National Standards Institute.

Section 242, Electric and Thermal Energy Efficiency Award Programs

This section creates an award program for innovation in increasing the efficiency of thermal electric generation processes, including encouragement for utilities to capture and separately market excess thermal energy.


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