Boxer to Propose Changes to Climate Bill

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A climate bill will inch closer to the Senate floor tomorrow when Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) will propose changes including $800 billion in tax cuts through 2050 as well as an additional $911 billion through 2050 to protect consumers from utility bill increases by promoting energy efficiency and giving out rebates.

Boxer's substitute proposal amends a bill co-sponsored by Sens. John W. Warner (R-Va.) and Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.). Their version did not include tax cuts, which need to be spelled out by the Finance Committee, and Boxer's version increases money for rebates and energy efficiency by 40 percent.

If adopted, climate legislation would result in a price for carbon, placing extra costs on anyone burning fossil fuels. In an effort to blunt criticism of the bill from businesses that would be hurt by that provision, Boxer's version channels $213 billion to energy-intensive businesses through 2015. The bill would help manufacturers of automobiles, glass, steel, paper, cement, chemicals and ceramics as well as fossil-fuel generators and commercial fleet owners.

-- Steven Mufson

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