The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed a climate bill on Thursday that aims to tackle greenhouse gas emissions in the United States to stave off global warming and shift the nation to clean energy technologies.
Despite a strong opposition from Republican Congressmen, the 946-page American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 co-authored by lawmakers Henry Waxman and Edward Markey won a 33 -25 vote after four days of hearings and discussion to more than 80 amendments to the bill, according to an Associated Press report.
When this bill is enacted into law, we will break our dependence on foreign oil, make our nation the world leader in clean energy jobs and technology, and cut global-warming pollution, Waxman said, AP reported.
The bill still has to pass through other House committees before it can be voted on later this year. Thursday's vote is a chance for the first time, for the full U.S. House to address broad legislation to tackle climate change later this year.
The climate bill calls for a cap-and-trade system for factories, refineries and power plants to curb greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 80 percent by mid-century and cut dependence on fossil fuels by putting a price to carbon dioxide emissions. The bill also requires utilities to obtain some power from renewable energy sources.
The House took a major step forward today in cutting pollution while putting our economy back on track, said Solar Energy Industries Association President and CEO Rhone Resch in a statement Thursday. We look forward to working with Chairman Waxman and Ranking Member [Joe] Barton on swift House passage of this historic energy and climate bill.”