Senators Push Carbon 'Superfund' Bill

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A group of Democratic US senators on Wednesday unveiled legislation establishing a $500 billion fund to be financed by Big Oil and other "carbon polluters" that they hope to attach to broader climate control legislation expected later this year. Modeled after the 1980 "Superfund" program in which polluters pay the costs of cleaning up hazardous substances from contaminated lands, the EPA and Treasury Department would identify the nation's largest "fossil fuel company polluters," according to Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland). He said an estimated 25 to 30 of the biggest US-based "polluters" would be required to contribute to the fund over 10 years. He did not identify individual companies that could be targeted. Next week, Senate Democrats are expected to advance a budget plan that would be the precursor to a $3.5 trillion "human infrastructure" bill Congress would debate this fall (OD Jul.15'21). The bill would include significant investments in programs to tackle climate change by reducing the release of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The senators said the fund would not replace a possible carbon tax or other steps aimed at reducing carbon emissions. Republicans are likely to oppose the effort, prompting Democrats to employ a "budget reconciliation" effort that would let them pass such a bill through the Senate by a simple majority in the 100-member chamber. (Reuters)

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