Senior House Dem pushes climate bill

Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) introduced climate change legislation Wednesday for a second time that would put a cap on carbon emissions from industry sources.

The bill, titled the Healthy Climate and Family Security Act of 2014, would put a cap on greenhouse gases from the fossil-fuel industry while providing payments to the public.

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The "cap-and-dividend" system is meant to deflate attacks from the GOP and industry that such a program would raise energy prices, spiking consumers' electric bills.

Similar to legislation he introduced in 2009, the new bill auctions off carbon pollution permits to emitters and returns all of the revenue to U.S. residents with a valid Social Security number in the form of a quarterly dividend check.

“Two of the most pressing challenges we face as a country are the need to address the economic costs and public health risks associated with climate change, and to strengthen the middle class," Van Hollen said on a call with reporters Wednesday. "We do both in this bill.”

According an assessment by the Chesapeake Climate group, roughly 2,500 companies would fall under the bill, and and a family of four would receive about $260 per year in net benefit from the legislation.

Van Hollen said the bill would also cut carbon emissions 80 percent below 2005 levels by 2050.

Van Hollen reintroduced the bill to coincide withe administration's climate push this week as the Environmental Protection Agency bulks up defenses against attacks on its carbon pollution regulation on existing power plants.

Still, the legislation is unlikely to gain traction in the Republican-controlled House.