The Climate Bills, Side by Side

Many of the differences between the House and Senate climate and energy bills are so slight that you could almost call them similarities, judging from a side-by-side comparison put together by the National Commission on Energy Policy, a bipartisan advisory group.

One of the more concrete differences lies in the floor and ceiling that each bill sets for the price that companies will have to pay for permits to emit greenhouse gases under a proposed cap and trade system. The House bill, approved last June, says the permit cost would be $10 to $28 per ton, while the proposed Senate bill, unveiled on Wednesday, calls for a range of $12 to $25 per ton.

That disparity may seem slight to the layman. But the potential range in costs, $18 in the House bill and $13 in the Senate bill, is of great interest to investors, who might prefer a narrow band so they can better understand and predict the permits’ potential effects on the market, said Paul Bledsoe, a spokesman and strategist for the energy policy commission.

“It’s important for the market, for the investors,” he said. “You want predictability.”

More notable, he said, is that fact that both bills set out to keep the prices contained. “The bills do have a price floor and a price ceiling, and I think that’s worth pointing out,” he said.

By SINDYA N. BHANOO/NYT

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