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Senators Will Introduce Climate Change Bill on Monday

A compromise climate change bill sponsored by a tri-partisan coalition of senators will be introduced Monday with the backing of the Edison Electric Institute, which represents most U.S. electric utilities, and three of the nation's largest oil companies, the Washington Post reported Friday.

The plan, sponsored by Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. and Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn., would take effect in 2013 and by 2020 would cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent compared to 2005 levels, and 80 percent by 2050, the Post quoted Kerry as saying.

The Post listed a number of politically attractive provisions designed to build support for the bill, including luring consumers with a promise to rebate to them two-thirds of the revenues generated by auctioning off pollution allowances for utilities. It also removes from business the specter of greenhouse gas regulation by the states and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), pre-empting both the states' and EPA's ability to regulate greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act as long as emitters comply with the standards outlined in the measure.

Read more details about the legislation here.

Read about the background of U.S. climate change policy in the April issue of InsideCounsel's cover story.

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Mary Swanton

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