While all the focus is on the UN Climate Summit, the US, of course, still has no cap on its emissions. The House passed Waxman-Markey, which caps emissions and reduces them by 83 percent by 2050 but allows for huge giveaways to coal and is weakened by offsets. The Senate hasn't voted, but its flagship bill, Kerry-Boxer, was scored today by the Congressional Budget Office and the news is positive for sure.CBO said Wednesday that the bill belonging to Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass. and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif. would result in $21 billion surplus between of 2010-19. The nonpartisan CBO added that the bill would continue to be in the black even as the cap it creates tightens.
This news should be a boost for President Obama while he's in Copenhagen. He can tell the American people that current legislation will not be a drag but a boon for the economy. It could even prompt him to up the ante and increase the US's target for emissions reductions from the paltry 4 percent below 1990 levels by 2020.
Kerry himself doesn't seem to believe the bill can be passed as is. He's partnered with Lindsey Graham, R-S.C. to try to rewrite it in a way that can get enough votes in the Senate to break a filibuster.
The full score and a statement from Sen. Boxer is available at CQ.