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Cap and trade would cut the federal deficit

Surely this means all those “deficit hawks” I keep hearing about will rush to embrace the American Power Act now. Right?

The CBO analysis of the American Power Act, championed by Sens. John Kerry (D-Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) found that government revenues would grow by about $751 billion from 2011 to 2020 if the bill became law. By contrast, the legislation would create direct spending of $732 billion over the same 10-year period.

Authors of the proposal called the CBO report a “powerful message” ahead of a floor debate next month. They are still searching for a formulation that will draw 60 votes.

“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 and Lieberman said in a joint statement. “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 CBO report is here. Of course, no one actually believes the American Power Act can pass, because we can’t afford it or some such, so the talk is about various alternate approaches that may have a chance of surviving the Senate. No, I don’t understand that either. Texas Vox has more.

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