House Committee Approves Climate Bill

"After months of grueling hearings and deliberations, the House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill by a vote of 33-25 on Thursday evening.  It’s a landmark occasion, the first time a serious climate bill has made it this far in the House.

The bill would cut greenhouse-gas emissions about 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and about 80 percent by 2050, while promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency.

“We are now one step closer to delivering on the promise of a new clean energy economy that will make America less dependent on foreign oil, crack down on polluters, and create millions of new jobs all across America,” said President Barack Obama in a written statement.

The vote fell largely along party lines, with only one Republican voting yes—Mary Bono Mack (Calif.)—and four Democrats voting no—John Barrow (Ga.), Jim Matheson (Utah), Charlie Melancon (La.), and Mike Ross (Ark.).  But the Dems who did support the bill represent diverse constituencies—coal states, industrial districts, and agricultural areas, as well as coastal regions."

Kate Sheppard reports for Grist May 21, 2009.

See Also:

"House Dem Chairmen Preview a Summer of Maneuvering" (Darren Samuelsohn/ClimateWire)

Climate Bill Clears Hurdle, but Others Remain (New York Times)

House Panel Passes Greenhouse-Gas Limits (Washington Post)

Waxman-Markey Bill Moves (Huffington Post)

Cap-and-Trade Gets Nod (Bloomberg)

Greens Celebrate Cautiously (TIME)

Bill Clears Committee (Politico)

Ag Panel Eyes Bill (Allison Winter/ClimateWire)

House Panel Clears Plan (Wall St. Journal)

Bill Takes Leap (San Jose Mercury News)

Source: Grist, 05/22/2009