Barbara Boxer, California's more progressive US senator, unveiled a historic climate-change legislation yesterday that would set mandatory limits on carbon emissions as part of a cap-and-trade system. According to the Associated Press, Boxer's bill, which she is co-sponsoring with former Democratic Presidential nominee John Kerry, is more ambitious than a similar House bill introduced earlier this year. Boxer's bill would cut the nation's greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020, compared to 2005.
The bill also further details a planned cap-and-trade market where coal and natural gas plants can buy credits from renewable energy producers, thereby providing green technology companies a much-needed financial boost. Boxer introduced her bill on the same day that President Obama's Environmental Protection Agency director announced that the administration would begin regulating greenhouse gases from major power plants under the federal Clean Air Act - a move opposed by coal-power companies and one the Bush administration had refused to make.