Casten Introduces Bill to Eliminate Emissions from Electricity and Thermal Energy Generation by 2040 Congressman’s ‘Tradeable Performance Standard Act” Eradicates 40% of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2040

October 14, 2020
Press Release
Congressman’s ‘Tradeable Performance Standard Act” Eradicates 40% of US Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 2040

Downers Grove, IL – Today U.S. Representative Sean Casten (IL-06) introduced the Tradeable Performance Standard Act, which would eliminate roughly 40% of U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions by 2040 by creating tradeable emission allowances for the electric and industrial thermal energy sectors. In 2018, those sectors combined to emit roughly 2.7 billion tons of greenhouse gases – emissions that would be eliminated under the bill. U.S. Representative Seth Moulton (MA-06) is an original cosponsor.

Casten said, “As we continue to see sea levels rise, wildfires rage across the West, and Hurricanes batter the Gulf, it is clear that the time to act on climate change is now. In order to hit net-zero emissions economy-wide by 2050, we need to implement aggressive climate legislation today to create the clean energy infrastructure of the 21st century our country so desperately needs. This bill takes aggressive action to eradicate emissions from two sectors of the economy that combined for 40% of U.S. net greenhouse gas emissions in 2018 in turn creating a cleaner, more efficient future for all.”

Elizabeth Gore, Senior Vice President, Political Affairs, Environmental Defense Fund said, “Curbing climate pollution from the electric and industrial sectors is critical for tackling climate change, as these two sectors emit nearly half of total greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. Rep. Casten’s creative proposal will not only cut climate pollution from these sectors, it will help spur investment in clean energy and reduce harmful air pollution.”

The bill decarbonizes the electric and industrial thermal energy sectors by creating carbon intensity standards for each sector that decline each year. Energy producers who emit more than the standard would have to purchase emission allowances from those who emit less – and the dirtiest producers will have to purchase more emissions than any others. Over the next 20 years, two of the three heaviest emitting sectors would see their emissions completely eradicated.

According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world has already experienced 1°C of warming relative to pre-industrial levels. Without action, Earth is likely to reach 1.5°C of warming by midcentury, and accelerate towards irreversible damage to our species and planet after that. This proposal represents a necessary step in preventing the worst impacts of the climate crisis from coming to fruition.