Energy Bill One Vote Away From Passing in The House
By: Suzanne Heibel
Democrats are just one vote away from passing an aggressive energy bill that would require the nation to slash its green house gas emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020 and 50 percent by 2050, reported the Wall Street Journal. The vote count currently stands at 217 to 205, with only 218 votes to push the legislation through the House. Dubbed the Waxman-Markey bill after its authors Congressman Henry Waxman (D-California) and Representative Edward Markey (D-Massachusetts), the measure would institute a national cap and trade program to give some flexibility to emission restrictions that Republicans say are too stringent.
The bill would represent a resounding win for the Obama administration, which has been looking to step up as a world leader in climate change initiatives. Republican representatives contest the bill, saying that the implemented energy tax would encourage American energy companies to move their businesses and jobs abroad. Democrats argue that the bill would work to create green jobs and at the same time limit green house gas emissions, which have so far been highly unregulated. Republicans ultimately believe the measure will hinder economic progress while Democrats argue it will stimulate economic growth. The WSJ reported that 95 percent of the nation's transportation fuel and a significant portion of its electricity come from the pollutant-heavy fuels the bill is trying to minimize, including coal, natural gas, and oil.
The House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on the bill later this afternoon.
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