Cap-and-Trade Bill To Face Tough Fight in U.S. Senate

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cap-and-trade-us-senate-bean-soup.jpgThe U.S. Senate has begun hearings on legislation to place a ceiling and a price on carbon emissions, and Democratic leaders say they are as many as 15 votes short of the number to ensure passage. The Washington Post reports that to pass the 1,400-page bill, Senate Democratic leaders may be forced to make so many concessions to industry that the legislation could lose the support of environmental groups, most of which have endorsed the bill.

The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly approved the legislation last month after softening emissions targets and agreeing to initially give away — rather than auction — the permits that large-scale emitters must obtain to release greenhouse gases.

The Post said that to ensure passage in the Senate, the leadership may be forced to add controversial provisions, such as allowing more drilling off the east and west coasts of the United States. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he hopes various committees will complete their work on the bill by Sept. 18 and that the legislation will come up for a vote by late fall.

This article originally appeared on Yale Environment 360 at http://e360.yale.edu

[photo credit: flickr]

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