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ALBUQUERQUE — Sen. Jeff Bingaman, the chairman of the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said Tuesday that it’s unclear whether Congress will be able to pass cap and trade legislation aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions this year.
Bingaman, D-N.M., said there’s no consensus on what form a cap-and-trade system would take, but strong desire exists in both the Senate and House to pass other energy-related bills that would curb pollution blamed for global warming.
Bingaman said the concern is that if Congress does not move forward on cap-and-trade legislation, emission reductions will be forced by federal regulators.
“That will also drive up utility rates,” he said. “The question is what will drive up utility rates the least, so that’s what we’re still trying to determine.”
President Barack Obama will have to rely on support from Bingaman and others in the Senate to achieve one of his top domestic priorities, which is setting up a cap-and-trade system that would put a price on each ton of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are released.
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