Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007

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Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007
Logo of US Congress

[2] Date: 1/15/2007 Jurisdiction: Federal government of the United States

First year of emissions cap:2010 Functions:Performance standards for Greenhouse Gasses Emissions

Covered sources: Electric generation, motor vehicles, fuel

The Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007 (S. 309) - a bill to amend the Clean Air Act to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, and for other purposes. It was proposed in the 110th United States Congress by Senators Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) on January 15, 2007.

It was referred to the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works.[1]

The measure was intended to increase performance standards for electricity generation and motor vehicles with the option of an emissions "cap and trade" system. The emissions cap would begin in 2010 with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 15 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050. The legislation would also provide funding for R&D on geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide, among other projects; set emissions standards for new vehicles and a renewable fuels requirement for gasoline beginning in 2016; establish energy efficiency and renewable portfolio standards beginning in 2008 and low-carbon electric generation standards beginning in 2016 for electric utilities; and require periodic evaluations by the National Academy of Sciences to determine whether emissions targets are adequate.[2]


Senate Bill 309 (S.309) proposes to amend the Clean Air Act of 1970 to include CO2 emissions as a regulated pollutant in the U.S. It establishes a regulatory framework to nationally regulate CO2 emissions through a set of programs, regulations and market-based incentives. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the agency directed to implement and enforce the provisions of the bill.[3]

Bernie Sanders (Rep-VT) and Barbara Boxer (Rep-CA) proposed S. 309 in January 2007. This bill aims to reduce incrementally U.S. CO2 emissions from the highest polluting sectors, transportation and electric generation. Its goal is to reduce emissions to 80% of 1990 levels by 2050. In this report we discuss global warming and provide an analysis of how S.309 could be implemented if Congress passed it. The analysis focuses on the programs required to successfully implement this bill in the first year, from setting caps on emissions by industry through to designing a budget and staffing plan and implementation.'' [4]

There have been introduced seven bills that address the global warming emissions. The Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act was passed based on it vigorous reduction deadlines on earlier timeline compared to other bills. This bill proposed the common "cap and trade" system, which became the major attraction to the bill. In 2010 the Global Warming Pollution Act should freeze global warming emission and continue to reduce year after year. As the consequences, it was predicted that the global warming emission should be reduced by 14% by 2020 and 83% by 2050. Moreover, the bill establishes strict parameters for power plants and automobiles and invests into new clean energy technologies. The President, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Al Gore publicly supported the bill.

Act Overview[edit]

Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act
Bill Number S. 309
Cosponsors Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Daniel Akaka (D-Hawaii), Russell Feingold (D-Wis.), Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.), Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Joe Biden (D-Del.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), and Barack Obama (D-Ill.)
Overview This climate change bill would be a new title to the Clean Air Act. It would have the most sweeping effect of any piece of global warming legislation, with multiple programs designed to curb "dangerous interference" with the Earth's climate. Sets a global goal to keep average temperatures from rising no more than 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by stabilizing global concentrations of CO2 at 450 parts per million.
Regulated Industries Economy-wide, most major sectors of U.S. economy, including power plants and transportation.
Limits The bill first sets broad emission goals, with cuts of 2 percent each year between 2010-2020. Then a 27 percent cut below 1990 levels by 2030, and 53 percent below 1990 levels by 2040. Cuts emissions 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. New power plants that start operating after 2012 must meet strict emission limits, equal to a natural gas combined cycle unit. Sets up a renewable portfolio standard of 5 percent by 2008, 10 percent by 2010, 15 percent by 2015 and 20 percent by 2020. It establishes a global warming regulation for new automobiles of all sizes equal to current standards in California. Mandates major increase in renewable content for fuels. Establishes energy efficiency targets.
Key Support Groups Earth Day Network, Earthjustice, Environmental & Energy Study Institute, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, League of Conservation Voters, National Audubon Society, National Environmental Trust, Natural Resources Defense Council, Physicians for Social Responsibility, Public Citizen, Sierra Club, Union of Concerned Scientists, U.S. PIRG.
Auction and allowance allocations Decided by U.S. EPA. Cap-and-trade permitted, but there is no requirement. Allocations would include transition help for consumers, businesses.
Offsets Silent.
Cost control and flexibility Up to the U.S. EPA, president.
Extras Sets up new carbon sequestration programs, including grants to demonstrate effectiveness in five regions of the country. Puts United States back into international global warming negotiations. Requires report on trade, economic and technological barriers if the United States does not adopt measures to cut its emissions. Mandates climate change consideration in all federal environmental impact statements. Calls for new Securities and Exchange Commission rules for reporting on financial exposure from global warming.

Proposed Solution of S. 309[edit]

The bill proposes a list of requirements to reduce CO2 emission through the following programs:

Vehicle Emissions Standards:

Changes made by bill sets the emission standard on vehicles that cannot exceed CO2 more than it required (205 g/m and 332 g/m for automobiles and 405 g/m for 3 vehicles over 8,501 pounds). This method was proven to be effective enough to reduce CO2 emission even though the cost for automobile industry can be high.

Emissions Standards for Electric Generation Units:

Approximately 52% of energy in United States comes from coal, a fossil fuel formed from carbon and defined as the main source of CO2 emissions. Also, the bill may require the development of new technology.

Low Carbon Generation Requirement:

An electricity generator required to produce a specific amount of low carbon energy. These requirements can be achieved by several techniques: 1) Generating or purchasing low-carbon electric energy. 2) Purchasing credits pursuant to the Low-Carbon Generation Credit Trading Program.

Renewable Portfolio Standard:

A key benefit in this approach is development of renewable energy technology and a market force for clean energy generation. However, monitoring the standard may prove difficult, and states that rely more heavily on traditional fossil fuel production might distort the market.

Research and Development:

There are three objectives of this program: 1) Develop an advance system to monitor global warming pollution. 2) Create a baseline reference line for future global warming pollution. 3) Start an international exchange of information to expand measurements. Research is very important program of this bill, which will increase the state of knowledge technology of clean energy productions.

Budget Plan[edit]

Summary Provisions of Act[edit]

Sec. 701 Findings.
Sec. 702 Purposes.
Sec. 703 Definitions.
Sec. 704 Global warming pollution emission reductions.
Sec. 705 Conditions for accelerated global warming pollution emission reduction.
Sec. 706 Use of allowances for transition assistance and other purposes.
Sec. 707 Vehicle emission standards.
Sec. 708 Emission standards for electric generation units.
Sec. 709 Low-carbon generation requirement.
Sec. 710 Geological disposal of global warming pollutants.
Sec. 711 Research and development.
Sec. 712 Energy efficiency performance standard.
Sec. 713 Renewable portfolio standard.
Sec. 714 Standards to account for biological sequestration of carbon.
Sec. 715 Global warming pollution reporting.
Sec. 716 Clean energy technology deployment in developing countries.
Sec. 717 Paramount interest waiver.
Sec. 718 Effect on other law.

Global Warming and Wildlife[edit]

Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act (S. 309) [5] Defenders of Wildlife

The main concern of scientists and Defenders of Wildlife is global warming issues. The world and the U.S are extremely threatened by rising sea levels, melting ice, draughts, and distractions of species. As consequence, it was proposed to reduce global warming pollutants and as solution to this problem, Senators Bernie Sanders and Barbara Boxer introduced the Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007. The purpose of this bill is to avoid the most catastrophic consequences of global warming by increasing energy efficiency, which will reduce air pollution, oil, and produce more jobs. Moreover, the bill creates targets of pollution reduction, which help to keep temperature below a dangerous "tipping point", beyond which climate change will be unavoidable. [6]

Reduction of Greenhouse Gasses and other Pollutants[edit]

The Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act of 2007.[7] set out a roadmap of ways to reduce the U.S emissions and help to stabilize the Global atmospheric of greenhouse gasses. the United States must take their actions soon so that they can prevent some of the most dangerous consequence of greenhouse gases. In 2020, it is predicted that the global emission would be decrease by 14% and would continually reduced to 83% by 2050.[8] Several important ways of reducing greenhouse gasses should be considered: 1.Invest in new technologies and develop new generation of cars would eventually help to use fuels or gas more efficiently. When buy a new products such as car, it is better to choose the one that has good gas mileage.

2.Electricity mostly come from burning coal or natural gas which emit the greenhouse gasses and other pollutants. Finding other ways of generating electricity like wind or solar are necessary.

3.The reducing, reusing and recycling wastes can help to decrease the amount of heat of greenhouse gases when it releases into the environment.[9]

Emission Standards[edit]

Emission standards are defined with specific limits to the amount of pollutants that can or cannot be released into the environment.[10] In the U.S, the emission standards are managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).[11]

There are several important standards of the average global warming pollution emissions of a vehicle are indicated below, according to SEC 707 in S309:

• Cannot exceed 205 carbon dioxide grams/mile for vehicles that have a gross weight not more than 8500 pounds and a loaded weight not more than 3750 pounds.

• Cannot exceed 332 carbon dioxide grams/mile for vehicles that have a gross weight not more than 8500 pounds,a loaded weight of 3750 pounds and a medium duty passenger vehicles.

• Cannot exceed 405 carbon dioxide grams/mile for vehicles that have gross weight between 8501 pounds and 10000 pounds, and also not contain a medium duty passenger vehicle.[12]

The Importance of the Government Involvement[edit]

Government action is considered necessary to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions. Although the current Clean Air Act was designed to control the air pollution, the Act is not fully sufficient to reduce CO2 emissions.

Many individuals and businesses are aware of the issues and putting efforts by volunteering in reducing the CO2 emissions, but the majority of people are not. The improvement in technologies leads to high productivity, which was outpaced by the following factors: population growth, economic expansion, and the changing consumer preferences. It is necessary for the Government to take serious actions to accomplish the level of emissions reductions. The government has the capacity to regulate industry generally to reduce CO2 emissions and to set the standards reaching all sectors. The government's responsibility is to guard the citizen's public health and welfare.[13]

Final Statement[edit]

The governmental involvement is required to reduce CO2 emission pollution in U.S and around the world. Previous Clear Air Act did not reduced the amount of emission for the last decades and there was not detected any obvious decline in emissions. As the emission increases, it causes the temperature of Earth's surface to rise high.

Moreover, as technology have improved, the government action needed to regulate the level of emissions reduction caused by population growth, economic expansion, and changing consumer preferences. With government powerful role and position, the industry can be regulated toward reduction of CO2 emission and set standards for all sectors.[14]


  1. ^ OpenCongress: S.309 Archived 2007-11-11 at the Wayback Machine.
  2. ^ Climate Change Bills of the 110th Congress Archived 2008-02-12 at the Wayback Machine. Environmental Defense, May 29, 2007.
  3. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2012-12-20. Retrieved 2012-04-22.  EPA, 2012.
  4. ^ "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original on 2012-12-20. Retrieved 2012-04-22.  EPA, 2012.
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ ", 2007
  8. ^ "Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act.," ASJ's Green guide, 2007.
  9. ^ "Ways to reduce greenhouse gasses," Archived 2012-04-21 at the Wayback Machine. Green living, 2007.
  10. ^ Emission standard Emission Standards, 2007.
  11. ^ [1] EPA, 2012.
  12. ^ " S309," SEC 707, 2007.
  13. ^ "Four principles for successful climate policy," Archived 2012-12-20 at the Wayback Machine. The Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act: The Science Behind S. 309, 2007.
  14. ^ "Four principles for successful climate policy," Archived 2012-12-20 at the Wayback Machine. The Global Warming Pollution Reduction Act: The Science Behind S. 309, 2007.