House Barely Passes American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009
The margin was 7 votes. 219 to 212.
Yes, cap and trade is a contentious issue, but most likely because many thought it would significantly raise their taxes...which it won’t according to the CBO.
The bill would reduce nationwide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 through a so-called “cap-and-trade” program under which companies would buy and sell emissions credits. Among other things, the bill would also require utilities to generate an increasing amount of power from renewable sources.
The House vote came one day after President Barack Obama made an urgent plea for congressional approval in what could be an early make-or-break test of his young administration.
“Now is the time for us to lead,” Obama said during an appearance Thursday in the White House Rose Garden. “We cannot be afraid of the future. We cannot be prisoners to the past.”
The president said the bill will spark a “clean energy transformation” of the U.S. economy and “make possible the creation of millions of new jobs.”
“Make no mistake,” he emphasized. “This is a jobs bill.”
Indeed. This is a jobs bill. And it represents a distinct shift away from the energy policies of old. No wonder it’s unpopular in the House, where Dems from West Virginia and Michigan no doubt lambasted by
Still, the road forward could be tough, as the Senate hasn’t even put forward their version of the bill. But my guess is it’ll happen soon enough since the focus needs to be on health care the rest of the summer.
By the way, there was a Republican alternative, but it was voted down along party lines.
And while it sounded intriguing, it essentially amounted to a lot more of the same we’ve had. However, at least they came up with competing legislation…
The GOP proposal was defeated 172-255. The measure would have scuttled a proposed cap-and-trade system to cut greenhouse gases.
Instead, it called for an aggressive push for research on a broad range of energy programs from solar power and development of biofuels to radioactive waste and nuclear fusion.
Once the Senate bill comes up for review, I’ll share it.