House Makes Historic Vote for Clean Energy

President Obama’s call for comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year was answered by the House of Representatives in passing the American Clean Energy and Security Act by a 219 to 212 bipartisan vote.

The legislation will establish a new U.S. energy policy that reduces dependence on foreign oil and builds a new, domestic clean technology manufacturing base to supply wind, solar, and other renewable energy.  The bill also takes significant steps toward solving the global warming crisis by limiting carbon pollution.

Larry Schweiger, President and CEO of the National Wildlife Federation, said:

“House passage of a cap on global warming pollution makes this the most important conservation vote in a generation. The House showed great resolve to undo a flawed energy policy and move America toward a fundamentally different energy future.

“The American people prevailed today despite stiff opposition from Big Oil. Now we take this cause to the Senate with the winds of change at our back.”

In fact, the victory of the House vote had hardly sunk in when talk of Senate progress began. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada deemed the bill “a good product for the Senate and (its) committees to start considering.” Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry of Massachusetts, who has been meeting regularly with Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer and other senators to sketch out energy legislation, said he is confident about a Senate vote, while David Axelrod, Obama’s top political advisor, told reporters he thinks the Senate “will come to the same conclusion” as the House.

Senate discussion of energy legislation is expected to begin in earnest when lawmakers return from the Fourth of July recess.

Published: July 6, 2009