Congratulations to the Huffington Post for launching a special "green" section in order to highlight environment and energy issues. Joining the chorus of millions who have taken extra steps -- both large and small -- to help save our planet.
It is now time for Washington to take a step as well.
This week the Senate began the discussion on climate legislation, and I applaud their efforts. Now it's time for the House to continue this urgent discussion and find common ground on new approaches to solve the climate crisis.
As Chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming , I've held over 40 hearings, listening to scientists, consumers, governors, mayors, and community leaders on global warming. The chorus for action is deafening.
It's time for America to lead the world in the fight against global warming. We must cap pollution and invest in consumers, jobs and the clean technology of tomorrow, and we must start now.
This week, I introduced global warming legislation that attacks the climate crisis from a new direction. The Investing in Climate Action and Protection Act (HR 6186), or iCAP, is science-based, technology-driven, market-fueled and consumer focused.
iCAP -- the small "i" a tip of the cap to the technological potential of clean energy -- proffers a new paradigm in global warming legislation: the Cap-and-Invest system. The bill caps pollution at 85 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. It then uses a 100% auction system that sets a price on carbon, and allows companies to compete for reductions, or buy or trade credits within the system.
The bill makes polluters pay for sending global warming pollution into the atmosphere, taking revenues generated from the auction of permits, and reinvests that money back to American consumers and into promoting a clean energy economy. More than half of the funds from iCAP go directly to low- and middle-income American families to offset any increases in energy costs from the transition of our economy to low- or zero-carbon energy.
iCAP also invests in green collar job training for workers, energy efficiency programs, mass transit and smart growth solutions; because it's time to stop complaining about traffic jams and sprawl and put our nation on a path to the future.
Increased adaptation measures here in the United States and around the world will protect against global warming effects already expected because of our delay in cutting emissions. iCAP also provides funds to increase our ability to prepare people for severe weather events, and green building measures to help communities rebuild in an energy-saving manner in the event tragedy were to strike.
On the international front, iCAP's focus on renewable technology will enable the United States to engage countries such as China and India, while protecting vulnerable communities from the dangers of global warming including drought, famine and flood.
I announced iCAP during a speech last week to the Center for American Progress, and so far have been encouraged by feedback from California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and environmental leaders. I would like the opportunity to hear from you as well. Please sign up on my website to stay informed as the fight against global warming heats up in Congress.
Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Rajendra Pachauri and the IPCC have put any debate to rest over the dangers of greenhouse gases. The impacts can be felt from the melting ice caps of Greenland to the rainforests of Brazil.
The passion to stop global warming rings loudest in the youth of today -- iCAP supports their call for a clean energy revolution, a represents a step to a better tomorrow.
Follow Sen. Ed Markey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MarkeyMemo