A senate bill that was directed at climate change, specifically to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, fell flat late last week as senators from various states challenged it as costly and unrealistic.
The concern was directed toward the impact on the public and farming sectors. Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond (R-Mo), called the bill a "horrendous crippling tax" that would increase energy costs and drive some industries to other countries with lower energy costs.
In all, 36 senators blocked the effort from getting the 60 votes needed to end a filibuster on the bill. The final vote was 48 to 36.
Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.), John Warner (R-Va.) and Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), sponsored the bill, which more than a 70 percent reduction in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
It also would have provided incentives for power plants, factories and oil refineries to reduce emissions. The measure would have established a program to give credits to companies that reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Those companies could have sold their credits to help others having a hard time meeting the goal. Agriculture was one of the industries targeted, and some believe the cost would have been burdensome. However, some in agriculture see ways to make carbon credits work as a long-term opportunity to sell excess carbon credits to other industries.
The 10 Democrats who opposed the bill said it could have raised $7 trillion dollars over four decades through the sale of pollution credits, but they noted that much of that cost would have been passed on to consumers through increased energy costs.
The bill, must "contain costs and prevent harm to the U.S. economy," invest in new technologies to reduce carbon emissions, and "provide accountability for consumer dollars," contend the opposing Democrats.