Waxman-Markey Climate and Energy Bill Sqeaks By in House

In a vote of 219-212 the House of Representatives passed the American Energy and Security Act of 2009. The bill will cap greenhouse gas emissions and provide critical incentives and investment in clean energy development and “green collar” jobs. While far from perfect, the bill is the nation’s best effort yet in coming to grips with climate change and transitioning from an unsustainable energy economy.

The bill now moves to the Senate, where another hard fight is expected before the bill will finally become law.

Statement from Sierra Club Exective Director Carl Pope

With today’s historic vote, Congress has taken the first step toward unleashing a true clean energy revolution.  President Obama and tens of millions of environmentalists, union members, veterans, people of faith, small businesspeople, corporate leaders, sportsmen, and concerned citizens have been calling on Congress to get America running on clean energy.  Congress has finally answered that call.
“Speaker Pelosi, Chairmen Waxman and Markey, and many others deserve hearty congratulations for shepherding a comprehensive clean energy and climate plan to passage. For decades, they have been the strongest champions for our environment.  Without their extraordinary leadership, today’s vote would not have possible.

“This bill sets the stage for the dawn of the clean energy future.  While imperfect, it sets forth a set of goals America must achieve — and exceed.  Its most important achievement is setting the United States on a path to reduce carbon emissions some 80 percent by 2050.  It also makes strides in halting international deforestation, requires new buildings to dramatically slash energy waste, will speed the development of made-in-America electric vehicles, and provides important protections for workers, consumers, and others who may be affected by our transition to a clean energy future.

“We urged the House to pass this bill so that we could work to strengthen it before it reaches President Obama’s desk.  It is now of the utmost importance that the Senate improve several of its provisions.  In particular, a mechanism for cleaning up the oldest and dirtiest coal plants must be included in a final bill.  It’s also vital that we ramp up the bill’s investments in energy efficiency, hasten our transition toward clean energy sources like wind and solar, and steer more of the bill’s investments toward the public benefit—not polluters.

“An unprecedented coalition of environmental, faith, community, labor, veterans, business, and other groups mounted one of the most vigorous grassroots campaigns in decades to move this crucial legislation through the House.  We will now redouble our efforts to move an even stronger bill through the Senate and on to the president’s desk as soon as possible.”

Thomas Schueneman
Thomas Schuenemanhttps://tdsenvironmentalmedia.com
Tom is the founder and managing editor of GlobalWarmingisReal.com and the PlanetWatch Group. His work appears in Triple Pundit, Slate, Cleantechnia, Planetsave, Earth911, and several other sustainability-focused publications. Tom is a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists.

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  1. Nobody cares Jason… They would rather see bread lines miles long then take the time to find a solution that won’t make us a third world nation.

    Why do I hate the enviromental group. They are extremists. They need to be delt with the same any extremist group should be delt with(far left, extreme right). With hate, just like they show others that do not follow or beleive in their position.

  2. I’m all for “Clean Energy” use. But let’s draw the line at CO2. If a car only emits CO2 and water, let’s call that 0 emissions, OK?

    The earth can absorb CO2 like a sponge…as long as we leave some trees to absorb it. I support natural vegetation legislation. Plants absorb CO2 from the air and I’ve seen plants actually double in size. Haven’t you?

  3. Dan,

    Your comment displays reactionary, weak-minded ignorance. To which “environmental group” do you refer? If you’re concerned enough about the issue, you’d realize there are many in “the environmental group” (some of the more “extremist” enviro advocacy groups out there) dead set against waxman-markey, and on the other hand some people that would recoil at being considered part of “the environmental group” that are for it.

    But for all you know, it’s all one big solid block that requires your “hate.” I hesitate to label you a fool, but based on what you’ve said here, it is hard not to. Opposing Waxman-Markey is one thing, but to trot out your small-minded hate rhetoric is quite another. You obviously have no idea what you are talking about.

    Your comment is an example of the pot calling the kettle black – if you think extremist thinking is bad, then don’t engage in to. Getting your information from the likes of Glenn Beck, Fox News, or whomever you’re relying on to do your thinking for you only exposes your own weakness.

  4. And according to NASA-Goddard “They [authors of the Nasa research] suggest instead that improved agricultural and forestry practices offer a more natural way to draw down CO2, noting that reforestation of degraded land and improved agricultural practices that retain soil carbon could draw down atmospheric CO2 by as much as 50 ppm.”

  5. Other than NASA Climate Scientists saying that CO2 scrubbing is too expensive to work, my only other point was that cars producing only CO2 is a good idea. So you don’t agree with that. You’d like to see houses warmed, buildings cooled, factories humming, and cars run without CO2 emissions. Iceland creates Hydrogen from Geothermal energy and runs buses on it….but that’s not good enough for you. Good luck in your quest.

  6. Relax dude, you’re reading way too much into my comment. What exactly isn’t “good enough” for me again? Are we talking about Iceland now? That’s quite a bit different than a discussion of Waxman-Markey in the U.S.

    Jeesh… I was trying to be “nice” to you since you didn’t go off half-cocked like Dan up there.

    Whatever. Have a nice day.

  7. That’s my question as well. Why is 100% CO2 emissions not good enough anymore? I’ve listened to pollution arguments for 20 years, and now that we’ve cleaned up and eliminated 1000’s of industrial processes (and millions of jobs at the same time) people have decided to cap & tax the gasses I exhale with each breath I take. Should I do my part and breath 80% less? Eliminate 80% of my family? You think I should relax & be calm about that? Nope. I prefer open hostility.

  8. Okay, be hostile, but your comment shows you don’t understand what you’re talking about. You really think that this has anything to do with people breathing? What? do you chew on coal for breakfast?

    If your stance is going to be “open hostility” you’re as much of a fool as Dan. Look – where do you think that CO2 you just exhaled came from? The atmosphere, you idiot. So, like I said, unless you’re chowing down on coal for breakfast your exhaling has nothing to do with the carbon balance in the air. But for all I know, you do eat coal for breakfast. You’re starting to sound that dumb.

    The problem comes from the millions and million of years of carbon laid down in the ground that has been gassed into the atmosphere in less than two centuries. Not your insignificant exhalations (which recycle CO2 in any case). And yet you go around making noise about “eliminating” 80% of your family. What an asinine statement.

    Look, you’ve had your say – you want open hostility, you got it. Now go turn off Glenn Beck and pull your head out of your butt. Your comments are getting idiotic and I have no more time for it. Go breathe. No more comments here.

  9. I say listen to energy issues, when fossil fuel/oil run out look out for WW3. If this is going kill millions of jobs for the blue collar workers, means the economy will not get up on its feet.I have saw/listen to many people losing $/car/house etc. The arguement/energy. HEY! AMERICA LET’S BUILD OUR ECONOMY AND START THE BALL ROLLING O.K! A Laid Off Worker/Flextronics/TX 78759

  10. There,s no need to be concerned about CO2 in the air. For 1, there is almost no statistical correlation with Air temps and Co2. Just pull up the numbers and check. It’s not that hard to do. On the other hand, sunspot activity shows a very strong connection.
    So it’s not as if we could change the single largest influence on Temps. Let’s not deny heating and air conditioning and cars to the chinese just because we are starting to feel a little guilty for our current consumption.


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