The Waxman-Markey (WM) Bill has been passed by the US House of Representatives and the Kerry-Boxer (KB) Bill is now being discussed in the US Senate. Resources for the Future supply the following comparison of the two bills. Clicking on the download button at the base of the table provides a discussion of the differences.
Download Comparison (PDF) or, in summary:
Emission Reductions WM seeks a 17% reduction of 2005 emissions levels in 2020. KB seeks a 20% reduction of 2005 emissions levels in 2020.
Allowance allocations WM distributes approximately 85% of allocations to public and private entities and makes 15% available for auction. KB has not yet determined full allocations, though it stipulates that 25% of allocations be auctioned to reduce the federal deficit.
Reserve allowances WM sets the reserve allowance price at $28 in 2012, which increases to 160% of 36-month rolling average daily reserve price after 2015. KB sets the reserve allowance price at $28 in 2012, which increases by 5% plus inflation until 2017, then by 7% plus inflation.
Offset amounts WM sets a ceiling of 2 billion credits, 1 billion domestic and 1 billion international, though international can substitute for domestic up to 1.5 total international credits. KB sets a ceiling of 2 billion credits, 1.25 billion domestic and .75 billion international, though international can substitute for domestic up to 1.5 total international credits.
Carbon market regulation WM delegates authority to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to regulate carbon-trading cash markets and to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission to regulate derivative markets. KB delegates all authority over carbon-trading markets (cash and derivatives) to the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.
International competitiveness WM allocates 15% of allowances to trade-sensitive industries and requires international reserve allowance program (border tariffs) starting in 2020. KB will allocate some amount of allowances to trade-sensitive industries and has placeholder language indicating the use of some kind of ‘border measure.’
EPA authority WM removes the authority of the EPA to further regulate large sources of greenhouse gases with the inception of the program. KB maintains the EPA’s authority to regulate large greenhouse gas sources in addition to the emissions reduction program.
Renewable electricity standards WM establishes a 15% renewable energy standard with a 5% improved energy efficiency standards for a combined total of 20% by 2020. KB does not include any language establishing renewable energy standards.