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Big oil companies to pay “climate fund” after initiative in the Senate

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Big oil companies will have to finance a $500 million fund, targeted to add capital to a broader climate legislation expected this year; the initiative is coming from a group of Democrat U.S. senators, reported Reuters.

Firstly, the initiative is a model of a 1980 initiative called “Superfund”; a program in which polluters pay the cost of cleaning up hazardous liquids and materials from contaminated lands; if the initiative goes through, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Treasury Department will identify the nation’s largest “fossil fuel company polluters”; said senator Chris Van Hollen.

Secondly, according to Reuters, senators estimated that 25 to 30 big oil companies will compose the group of payers; them will be required to contribute to the fund for a period of 10 years. However, senators did not identify individual companies to be on the group of payers.

Thirdly, the group of democrat senators advancing the bill will advance a budget plant next week; according to Reuters, the “climate fund” would be a part of the $3,5 trillion “human infrastructure bill” that Congress will debate this fall.

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Fund for big oil companies maybe wont get full support in Congress

Moreover, 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. However appealing, the bill will most likely face the opposition from Republicans, and even from other Democrats.

In addition, according to Reuters, the Republican opposition will most like push 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, instead of the 60 votes needed for most legislation.

Furthermore, during a press conference on Wednesday, Senators Edward Markey and Sheldon Whitehouse did not assess their chances of winning the support of all 48 Senate Democrats; in fact, they were asked if they thought they could win the support of the most moderate Senate Democrats, Joe Manchin of coal-producing West Virginia.

Finally, the fund would not displace a possible carbon tax or other steps aimed at reducing carbon emissions, according to the senators. Instead, the bill would be a “fixed penalty to provide a block of compensation; aimed at cleaning up the mess that companies caused.” Said senator Whitehouse.

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