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Senate Climate Bill May Go Easy on Business

As more details about the Senate’s version of the climate bill become available, it’s becoming clear that Congress will do all it can to appease the business sector.

In addition to granting billions of dollars of free emissions permits to companies, forthcoming legislation likely will set a floor and ceiling on the price of offsets, according to the New York Times.

Even with the higher cost to business, the Senate estimates that the pass-down costs to consumers will come to about $100 a year per household.

The bill sets a goal of reducing emissions 20 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, 42 percent by 2030 and 83 percent by 2050.

The newest version of the bill calls for funding research on capturing and storing carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, more dollars for low-carbon transportation projects, additional help for rural communities and favorable treatment for agriculture and forestry.

The bill would provide about 30 percent of the complimentary carbon permits to utilities and another 5 percent to merchant coal firms, Reuters reports.

In the coming week, the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee will hold hearings on the bill.

In its analysis, the Environmental Protection Agency has found that the Senate and House versions have similar impacts on the economy.

Senate Republicans, meanwhile, proclaim that the EPA analysis is “incomplete” and they are threatening to boycott the bill until they have more time to analyze it.

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