Climate bill could cut federal deficit,
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.