Amazonian sized state tax battles
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Tax relief coming in global warming bill

Maybe it's because the WeatherBug icon on my PC tells me it's 102 degrees outside, but this item certainly caught my eye.

Thermometer_hot CQ Politics reports that a new version of Senate global warming legislation would provide billions in tax relief to help consumers pay their energy bills.

Of course, this is just the first of a long legislative process.

Although Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) is drafting a a measure that would include $800 billion through 2050 for a "tax relief fund" to help "consumers in need of assistance related to energy costs," it won't go to her colleagues for consideration until early June.

And details of the tax relief will have to be spelled out by the Senate Finance Committee.

CQ Politics also notes that despite support from Boxer's Environment and Public Works Committee, the bill is likely to face an uphill battle for enough votes to stave off the expected filibuster.

The reason for the opposition? Both Democratic and Republican Senators are worried about how the bill's cap on greenhouse-gas emissions would affect coal, petroleum, natural gas and manufacturing industries in their states.

Such potential defeat notwithstanding, I'm still holding out hope.

When mid-May temperatures are already triple digits by some measurements (our thermometer in our east-facing backyard reads 99, while the one on the covered portion of our patio says 94), a lot of folks are looking for any respite, from both the heat and associated costs.

And I fear that if things are this hot now, we could be looking at some more record-breaking A/C bills by the time July and August roll around.


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