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Clean Air: Bipartisan Plans Arise in Senate

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Two compromise Senate climate-change proposals have been floated in hopes of finding enough support to win a floor vote. In November, the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee cleared a climate bill but got no GOP votes. Trying a new approach, John Kerry (D-Mass.), Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) on Dec. 10 released a “basic framework for climate action” that said an emissions cap of about 17% less than 2005 levels “is achievable and reasonable.” EPW’s bill has a 20% cut. The Senate trio also want to encourage nuclear powerplant construction and boost U.S. oil and gas production. Sens. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) and Sus­an Collins (R-Maine) proposed a bill creating auctions at which energy companies would bid for carbon shares. Consumers would get most of the proceeds.

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