President Obama tonight praised a House committee's passage of a sweeping bill designed to reduce global warming and create alternative energy jobs.
Over the opposition of Republicans who argue that the measure will increase energy costs and hurt the economy, the House Energy and Commerce Committee pushed it through on a 33-25 vote.
The bill calls for cutting gases linked to global warming by 80 percent over the next 40 years through by limiting emissions at power plants, refineries, and other industrial plants. The government would give away or sell pollution permits that could then be traded.
"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," Obama said in a statement. "The bill is historic for what it achieves, providing clean energy incentives that encourage innovation while recognizing the concerns of sensitive industries and regions in this country. And this achievement is all the more historic for bringing together many who have in the past opposed a common effort, from labor unions to corporate CEOs, and environmentalists to energy companies. I applaud the committee for its action and look forward to signing comprehensive legislation."
Former Vice President Al Gore, who won a Nobel Prize for his advocacy on climate change, chimed in:
"The bill represents a crucial step forward in addressing the global climate crisis, the need for millions of new green jobs to end the recession, and the national security threats that have long been linked to our growing dependence on foreign oil and other fossil fuels. I encourage Congress to further strengthen this excellent legislation during floor consideration and move to pass this bill in both the House and the Senate this year.”
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.