Washington, D.C., June 26, 2009 – Democrats in the House of Representatives are working to shore up the votes needed to pass a major climate change and energy bill.
The bill, known as the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, was drafted by two House Democrats – Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.).
Most political experts do not expect the bill to garner much, if any, support from Republicans – who have released their own energy bill in response. The GOP plan calls for more investment in nuclear energy and an emphasis on fossil fuel drilling and exploration.
The bill aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent in the next four decades. It also contains a renewable portfolio standard requiring that 20 percent of the energy supplied by electric utilities to come from renewable sources by 2020 – with credit also given for energy efficiency measures.
President Obama urged swift passage of the legislation during a press conference June 25, claiming the cost of implementing the cap and trade system would be equivalent to “a postage stamp a day” for American families. Former Vice President Al Gore is also joining Obama in an attempt to drum up support for the bill by placing phone calls to representatives.
Critics of the legislation call it a badly timed tax on energy and say the cost of complying will mean passing along large fees to consumers during a period of worldwide economic upheaval.