From the NYT:
Published: June 26, 2009
WASHINGTON — The House passed legislation on Friday intended to address global warming and transform the way the nation produces and uses energy. The vote was the first time either house of Congress had approved a bill meant to curb the heat-trapping gases scientists have linked to climate change. The legislation, which passed despite deep divisions among Democrats, could lead to profound changes in many sectors of the economy, including electric power generation, agriculture, manufacturing and construction.
The bill’s passage, by 219 to 212, with 44 Democrats voting against it, also established a marker for the United States when international negotiations on a new climate change treaty begin later this year.
At the heart of the legislation is a cap-and-trade system that sets a limit on overall emissions of heat-trapping gases while allowing utilities, manufacturers and other emitters to trade pollution permits, or allowances, among themselves. The cap would grow tighter over the years, pushing up the price of emissions and presumably driving industry to find cleaner ways of making energy. – Read the full story here
And from the Huffington Post:
And a summary from the BBC:
Bill aims to cut emissions by 17% below the level in 2005 by 2020, then by 83% by 2050
Imposes national limits and requires polluters to acquire emissions permits
Permits are either free (85%) or bought at auction (15%)
Permits can be traded, allowing major polluters to offset surplus emissions