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Timeline for the Climate Bill
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Below are two climate change timelines showing significant dates and current House and Senate action, respectively.  The timelines will be continuously updated until the the final vote and signing of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009. If you're new to the inner workings of Capitol Hill, read our overview of the process.

Significant Climate Dates
1990 First report by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says the world has been warming and will probably continue to warm.
2005 Kyoto Treaty goes into effect (U.S. does not participate).
2006 President Bush signs the Energy Policy Act of 2005 aiming to double US renewable fuel use by 2012.

Supreme Court rules in Massachusetts vs. EPA that the EPA has the authority to regulate carbon and other greenhouse gases.

IPCC issues fourth report claiming 90%-99% certainty that climate change is caused by humans.     


House passes American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009

UN Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark brings world leaders together to discuss solutions to climate change.

The EPA releases a study finding that greenhouse gases are pollutants harmful to human health and welfare that should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

2010 Climate Bill is stalled.  Not likely to be taken up again this year.

House Schedule
Senate Schedule

May 2009

May 15 - H.R. 2454 introduced.

No action
June 2009

Committee mark-ups finish.
    - "Peterson Amendment" puts agriculture carbon offset program under USDA instead of EPA.

June 26 - Full House floor vote. H.R. 2454 passes 219-212

AFT says bill vote will usher in new agricultural era.

No action

Ag. Secretary Vilsack says "I believe it is crucial that we engage the participation of farmers, ranchers, and forest landowners. This issue is too important for agriculture and forestry to sit on the sidelines."

July 2009

No Action

USDA analysis concludes economic benefits of climate bill to farmers will be greater than costs.

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee hearings.

July 22 - Senate Agricultural Committee hearings.

August 2009
September 2009

No Action

Sep 30 - Boxer-Kerry bill introduced to Senate

October 2009
No Action
White House Energy Advisor says Climate Bill might not be voted on until December
November 2009
No Action

Nov 2 - Sen. Boxer holds Environment and Public Works Committee hearing with only one Republican in attendance.

Nov 5 - Senators Stabenow and Baucus introduce the Clean Energy Partnership Act, an amendment to the Boxer-Kerry bill that enhances agriculture's opportunities.

Nov 17 - Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pushes deadline for climate change legislation to early Spring.

December 2009

Dec 8 - EPA study finds greenhouse gases to be pollutants that should be regulated under the Clean Air Act.

Dec 7 - 18 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen

Dec 2 - Sec. of Agriculture Tom Vilsack testifies that the benefits of climate legislation outweigh the costs.

Dec 10 - Kansas State University releases economic analysis of six previous studies of H.R. 2454. KSU's study concludes that short-term profits for farmers may decline modestly, but that long-term profitability will be more significant.

Dec 10 - Senators Kerry, Graham and Lieberman discuss the frameworks of a bi-partisan compromise bill in development.

Dec 11 - Senators Cantwell and Collins announce Carbon Limits and Energy for American Renewal Act, which does not include a cap-and-trade system.

Early 2010   Discussion of clean energy legislation to resume.
Summer 2010 Climate Bill is stalled. Not likely to be taken up again this year.
American Farmland Trust