CBO: Energy Bill Can Cut Deficit by $19b

Source:

"Report offers compelling financial argument amid deficit concerns."

Senator John F. Kerry's signature energy and climate change legislation would cut the deficit by $19 billion, according to an estimate released yesterday by the Congressional Budget Office.

The legislation faces strong opposition from Republicans and some Democrats from energy-producing states, but the report gives the Massachusetts Democrat and his allies a compelling financial argument amid concerns about the implications of a burgeoning deficit."

The legislation faces strong opposition from Republicans and some Democrats from energy-producing states, but the report gives the Massachusetts Democrat and his allies a compelling financial argument amid concerns about the implications of a burgeoning deficit.

"There is no more room for excuses—this must be our year to pass comprehensive climate and energy legislation and begin to send a price signal on carbon,"' Kerry said in a statement with the legislation's coauthor Senator Joe Lieberman, independent of Connecticut. "Many of our colleagues have said they flatly oppose anything that adds a penny to the deficit, so we hope they look anew at this initiative, which reduces it."

The report estimates that the deficit would be reduced by $19 billion over the first 10 years and that the legislation would not increase the deficit over the next 40 years.

The cost of the legislation, which includes various tax credits, would be more than offset by revenues collected through a cap-and-trade system, according to the report. The bill would put a price on carbon emissions, a measurement that opponents have attacked as a carbon tax.

The report estimates that an allowance to emit more carbon than permitted would cost about $14 per metric ton in 2012 and would rise to $25 in 2020.

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