Historic Climate Change bill comes before the House

06/26/09 Mitch E. Perry
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At some point in the next hour, The U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to vote on a historic climate change bill, and its passage remains uncertain at this time.

Politico.com reported today that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the bill’s sponsors are working the floor furiously, twisting arms to squeeze ‘some last minute yes votes out of undecided members’.

The goal of the bill, sponsored by Democrats Ed Markey and Henry Waxman, is to limit pollution by capping greenhouse gas emissions and putting a price on carbon.

One of the first Democrats to speak in support of the legislation was Tampa Democrat Kathy Castor.

The Waxman-Markey bill would mandate a 17 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 from 2005 levels. This is weaker than what the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recommends.

Jerry Karnas is the Florida Climate Project Director with the Environmental Defense Fund. He says the bill is not ideal, but would still be a milestone if passed in the House.

If the bill passes the House, it still would need an accompanying bill to go through the U.S. Senate – where its chances of passage are expected to be uncertain.

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