Senate climate bill calls for a 20% cut in CO2

The Senate climate bill sets a more aggressive schedule for carbon dioxide emissions cuts than legislation passed by the House, but leaves out details about how to distribute valuable pollution allowances.
 
The initial draft is expected to be released publicly by the Environment and Public Works Committee on Wednesday, but a nearly completed draft was in wide circulation on K Street and elsewhere in Washington by Tuesday morning.
 

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The bill calls for greenhouse gas emissions to be cut by 20 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, compared with the 17 percent reduction called for in a version sponsored in the House by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Edward MarkeyEd MarkeyOvernight Cybersecurity: FBI probes possible hack of Dems' phones | Trump's '400-pound hacker' | Pressure builds on Yahoo | Poll trolls run wild Dems tie nuclear first-strike bill to concerns about Trump Takata says it failed to report airbag rupture in 2003 MORE (D-Mass.). President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaFirst lady slams Trump's birther comments Obama's contradictory stance toward black asylum seekers Webb: After the debate MORE had called for a 14 percent cut by 2020.
 
The other targets, including the 83 percent reduction by 2050, are the same in both Senate and House versions.
 
As expected, the draft, which is being sponsored by Sens. Barbara BoxerBarbara BoxerDems gain upper hand on budget Overnight Finance: Senate rejects funding bill as shutdown looms | Labor Dept. to probe Wells Fargo | Fed to ease stress test rules for small banks Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears MORE (D-Calif.) and John KerryJohn KerryThe Hill's 12:30 Report Kerry threatens to end Syria talks with Russia Senate overrides Obama 9/11 veto in overwhelming vote MORE (D-Mass.), did not allocate allowances that companies need to acquire to cover their emissions. Those details will be left to a markup later in October. The Senate Finance Committee will also address that issue, sometime after it’s done with healthcare reform.
 
The allowances are expected to be worth tens of billions of dollars a year, and there is a fierce lobbying struggle over how they will be distributed over various industrial sectors.
 
The cap-and-trade bill sets up a market in which companies can buy and sell allowances as their needs require to meet emissions reduction targets. During the first years of the program, the government will distribute a majority of the necessary emissions for free.