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National Security Agency
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:29pm
Tue Feb 18, 2014

Obama's Former Energy Chief Talks Cap & Trade, Disappointing Energy Efficiency Standards

Steven Chu, former secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy, said the 2009 landmark climate and energy bill that would have set up a cap-and-trade system got too complicated, which contributed to its downfall in Congress.

The mammoth bill was designed to address climate change and limit carbon emissions by placing a cap on greenhouse emissions, among other provisions. Essentially, companies that emit greenhouse gases would have had to comply with emission limits or be required to buy or trade credits to continue polluting. The measure, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, narrowly passed the House in June 2009 but it died in the Senate.

"The House bill got way too complicated," Chu said at a discussion Thursday night at the University of Chicago. "They let all the special interest(s) …make an 800 page bill to make little advantages here and there, and that just was wrong."