Assessing the American Power Act: The Economic, Employment, Energy Security, and Environmental Impact of Senator Kerry and Senator Lieberman's Discussion Draft

Trevor Houser (PIIE), Shashank Mohan (Rhodium Group) and Ian Hoffman (Rhodium Group)
Policy Brief
May 2010

On May 12, 2010, Senators John Kerry (D-MA) and Joseph Lieberman (I-CT) released details of their proposed American Power Act, a comprehensive energy and climate change bill developed over the preceding nine months by the two senators, chairmen of the Senate Foreign Relations and Homeland Security Committees respectively, along with Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC).1 With US unemployment just below 10 percent and the sunken Deepwater Horizon drilling rig's ruptured well pouring thousands of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico each day, the senators promised that if passed the bill will: (1) reduce US oil consumption and dependence on oil imports; (2) cut US carbon pollution 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and over 80 percent by 2050; and (3) create jobs and restore US global economic leadership. In this policy brief the authors evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed American Power Act in achieving those goals.