H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (ACES), was passed by the House of Representatives on June 26, 2009 but did not become law due to inaction in the Senate.
This legislation created a cap-and-trade mechanism, a market-based incentive to reduce carbon emissions. It mandated a combined renewable electricity and energy efficiency standard (RES/EERS) requiring that 20% of electricity sales by 2020 be met by renewable energy and energy efficiency. The bill also included a number of key policies designed to increase savings from energy efficiency, including improved building codes, appliance and lighting standards, and expanded residential and commercial retrofit programs. In addition, allowances from the sale of carbon credits in the cap-and-trade system would have provided funding for a number of important energy efficiency initiatives. Together, these had the potential to help people and businesses to become more efficient and to drive adoption of energy-efficient technologies, our country’s cheapest and most abundant energy source.
H.R. 2454 would have stimulated investments that save energy and benefit the economy. ACEEE’s macroeconomic analysis demonstrated that the bill could have delivered net energy bill savings of $350 billion by 2030, while also generating more than 424,000 additional jobs by 2030. Improvements to this bill that encourage greater levels of investments in energy efficiency could have delivered net energy bill savings of $400 billion by 2030 and nearly $470 billion by 2050, while also generating more than 2 million additional jobs by 2050 (nearly double the jobs that would be created by H.R. 2454 as passed by the House of Representatives).