As President Obama announced Friday that climate change legislation as enormous progress in the U.S. Congress history, the House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the 1,200-page environment and energy bill will pass following a successful test vote earlier on Friday.
The House of Representatives was nearing a vote on the climate bill requiring U.S. industries to significantly reduce their emissions in the next four decades of carbon dioxide and other harmful gases associated with global warming.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, when asked by a reporter whether she still lacked the votes for passage, she replied: Quite to the contrary.
President Obama expressed his support for the bill during a joint press conference at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
I think that this legislation that we are seeking to pass indicates enormous progress from where we have been.
The cap and trade plan is the core of the complicated bill that designed to reduce carbon emissions by 17% by 2020 and 83% by 2050, from 2005 levels.
This bill, when enacted into law, will break our dependence on foreign oil, said Representative Henry Waxman of California, a leading proponent.
He said it will create millions of clean energy jobs and was backed by a remarkable coalition of electric utilities, manufacturers, farmers, labor unions and environmental organizations.
Massachusetts Representative Edward Markey, who wrote the bill with Waxman, said, When it becomes law, and it will, for the first time in the history ... of our country we will put enforceable limits on global warming pollution.
Republicans in Congress have attacked the legislation, saying it would increase consumer prices as companies are forced to switch to more expensive alternative fuels.
They also complained the United States would be committing to firm pollution controls even though other major polluters like China and India have not.
If the House passes the legislation, the debate would then move to the Senate, where its fate was uncertain this year.