CBO Says Climate Bill Would Cut Deficit by $19 Billion, But It May Come Too Late
The Democrats aren’t really running Washington these days; the deficit is. Deficit fears have prompted lawmakers to shy away from even the most popular measures, like an extension of unemployment benefits.
But there’s one major piece of pending legislation that deficit shouldn’t be able to knock down: the American Power Act. Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman’s (I-Conn.) comprehensive climate bill just received its score from the Congressional Budget Office. The verdict? It’ll reduce the deficit by $19 billion over the next 10 years.
Will that be enough to get the bill passed? Of course not. The very same centrist senators who frequently raise deficit concerns are wary of legislation that could raise energy prices, and so the APA appears all but dead. The question now is whether an energy and climate bill that places a cap on only the utilities sector can raise enough revenue to offset the clean energy incentives in the bill and maintain a deficit-cutting or deficit-neutral top line.
After the bill is drafted — whenever that may be — we’ll await the CBO verdict.