U.S. Representatives Henry Waxman and Ed Markey, chairs of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming have released what they call a “Discussion Draft of Clean Energy Legislation”. That “discussion draft language” means that their legislation, the proposed American Clean Energy and Security Act, is not yet available for you to read at the Library of Congress.
You should read the legislation anyway – though maybe not all of it. It’s 648 pages long. Did any of the Harry Potter books reach that length? The full legislation is worth searching through, however, and in order to help you in that search, Markey and Waxman have produced a summary. Both the full draft legislation and the summary are available here.
There’s a lot to review, but one item stands out right away: Clean coal. Oh, the phrase “clean coal” itself is never used in the legislation, but the concept of clean coal is jam packed throughout the bill. Waxman and Markey use the phrase “carbon capture and sequestration” to refer to what advocates of clean coal have been trying to get government funding for. Their own summary explains that “The draft promotes development of carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) technologies to ensure a continuing place for coal in our nation’s energy future.”
Why should the place of coal in our nation’s energy future be ensured? Here’s something important to remember: There is no such thing as a commercially viable system of carbon capture and sequestration. Clean coal is a fraud. So, why does the Waxman-Markey legislation provide government support to support the fraud?