Cut the carbon, cut the deficit

David Moulton.

The Congressional Budget Office — a non-partisan agency that examines the financial impact of legislation — released its report on the American Power Act, the climate and energy bill from Senators John Kerry (Mass.) and Joe Lieberman (Conn.).

The CBO’s report confirmed what many of us already knew — that saving the planet by cutting carbon emissions was good for us. What we didn’t know was how good it was.

According to the CBO, the American Power Act as it is written now would save American taxpayers approximately $19 billion. That might not seem like much in these days of hundred billion dollar bailouts, but it means that protecting the planet — and the billions of dollars worth of clean air and water that we depend on.

This is the third comprehensive climate and energy bill that the CBO has analyzed in the past two years, and while all of them are a little bit different, they all save money — anywhere from $9 to $21 billion.

In addition to reducing the deficit, the bill would also create new jobs protecting communities and adapting our landscapes to climate change.

With the economy still struggling and the disaster in the Gulf showing us what our addiction to dirty fuels like oil and coal really cost us, it is clear that saving money and saving the planet is a win-win situation.

The Senate needs to act — for the economy, and the environment.