Cli­mate bill could cut fed­eral deficit,

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE -

WASHINGTON — Con­gres­sional bud­get ex­perts say a cli­mate and en­ergy bill now stalled in the Se­nate would re­duce the fed­eral deficit by about $19 bil­lion over the next decade.

The re­port by the non­par­ti­san Con­gres­sional Bud­get Of­fice was the sec­ond pos­i­tive anal­y­sis of the bill by a govern­ment agency in a month but is likely to carry more weight than a sim­i­lar re­port is­sued by the En­vi­ron­men­tal Pro­tec­tion Agency. The bud­get of­fice is the en­tity re­spon­si­ble for pro­vid­ing Congress with non­par­ti­san analy­ses of eco­nomic and bud­get is­sues, and law­mak­ers rely on it for guid­ance.

Wed­nes­day’s re­port said the en­ergy bill would in­crease fed­eral rev­enues by about $751 bil­lion from 2011 to 2020, mostly through the sale of car­bon cred­its in a so-called ca­pand-trade plan ap­plied to util­i­ties and other sec­tors of the econ­omy. The mea­sure would in­crease fed­eral spend­ing by about nearly $732 bil­lion, mostly from re­funds to util­ity bills and tax cred­its, as well as in­vest­ment in var­i­ous en­ergy pro­vi­sions in­clud­ing re­search and devel­op­ment, the re­port said.

A sep­a­rate EPA anal­y­sis last month con­cluded that the Se­nate bill would cost house­holds an av­er­age of $79 to $146 per year.

The leg­is­la­tion aims to cut emis­sions of car­bon diox­ide and other heat-trap­ping green­house gases by 17 per­cent by 2020 and by more than 80 per­cent by 2050.

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