Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Waxman & Markey Have support all the way at the top

This from NYT today.

June 23, 2009, 1:34 pm
Obama Urges Passage of Climate Bill
By John M. Broder
(Jason Reed/Reuters)

President Obama on Tuesday gave a full endorsement to energy and climate change legislation now pending before the House, calling it “extraordinarily important.”

At a midday press conference, Mr. Obama said that the bill, sponsored by Representatives Henry A. Waxman of California and Edward J. Markey of Massachusetts, both Democrats, “will finally spark a clean energy transformation that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and confront the carbon pollution that threatens our planet.”

He said the bill will be paid for by utilities and other industries that produce the bulk of climate-altering emissions and will help position the country as a global leader in clean energy technology. “And that is why I urge members of the House to come together to pass it.”

The president’s strong endorsement comes three days before a scheduled House vote on the 1,201-page measure that has as its centerpiece a cap-and-trade program to limit emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases that scientists blame for changes to the global climate.

As part of his lobbying efforts, Mr. Obama has dispatched cabinet officers and other top officials to a half-dozen states this week to tout the benefits of the bill and the administration’s spending on a variety of clean-energy projects, like wind power and loan guarantees for energy efficiency projects.

Mr. Waxman and Mr. Markey are still negotiating aspects of the complex legislation and there is no certainty that they will assemble enough votes to pass it on Friday over near-unanimous Republican opposition. But Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Monday evening approved a floor debate and vote at the end of the week, a signal that she believes that ultimately supporters of the bill will prevail.

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