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House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Rep. Henry A. Waxman, Rep. Edward J. Markey, Rep. Mike Doyle and Rep. Jay Inslee have released the details of an agreement on a major provision for the allocation of allowances to major energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries under the proposed terms of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009.

This agreement sets easier targets than originally proposed, requiring a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions of 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. The original target was a 20% cut in the same time frame.

Under this agreement, energy-intensive industries that compete in global markets will be provided incentives to improve their energy efficiency, as well as assistance to address the costs of transitioning to a clean energy economy. These incentives will be based on the amount of domestic production. Under the agreement:

- 15% of allowances in 2014 will be distributed to U.S. manufacturers that are in energy-intensive, trade-exposed industries;

- manufacturers will receive allowances based on the average carbon emissions from the sector, scaled by the manufacturer's U.S. production; and

- to provide adequate transition time, the industries will receive allowances through 2025, at which time the President will determine whether they are still needed.

"We have reached an important milestone as we build consensus on comprehensive clean energy legislation," says Rep. Markey, Chairman of the Energy and Environment Subcommittee. "This improvement to the legislation will help America create millions of new good-paying clean energy jobs, and do so without losing the quality manufacturing jobs we already have."

According to the Wall Street Journal, this agreement could lead to a committee vote by Memorial Day weekend.

SOURCES: House Energy and Commerce Committee, Wall Street Journal

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