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House Passes Landmark Climate Change Bill, Now Heads to Senate

"House passes landmark climate change bill, now heads to Senate(By ClimateBiz Staff via GreenBiz)The U.S. House of Representatives narrowly passed a sweeping climate change
bill today that will significantly change the way Americans use and produce
energy.The American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES), which passed on a
219-212 vote, now moves to the Senate, where experts predict another battle.Environmental groups hailed the bill's passing.""This vote was a major hurdle, and we've cleared it,"" Kevin Knobloch,
president of the Union of Concerned Scientists, said in a prepared
statement. ""President Obama can walk into the G8 summit of world leaders in
Italy next week with his head held high. Now we have momentum to move and
improve legislation in the Senate and put it on President Obama's desk so
he can go to December's international summit in Copenhagen with the full
backing of the Congress and the American people.""Before the vote, Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) told her colleagues ""we
cannot hold back the future."" She offered four words that she said
represent the meaning of the legislation.""Jobs, jobs, jobs and jobs,"" she said.Oakland, Calif.-based nonprofit Green For All, which was a driving force in
securing green job training funds in the American Recovery and Reinvestment
Act, called the bill a significant step forward in creating a more
equitable and secure country. The bill includes a $860 million allocation
to the Green Jobs Act."This legislation will not only position America at the forefront of the
clean-energy economy but will also create jobs and opportunities for
communities that are too often at the margins - and the smokestack end - of
our current economy," Green For All CEO Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins said in a
statement.Coalitions of labor and environmental groups praised the House of
Representatives for approving key investments in domestic clean energy
manufacturing to be part of the Waxman-Markey legislation."The American Clean Energy And Security Act is a giant leap forward to
establish energy security, reduce harmful carbon emissions,and create
millions of green jobs that will put our citizens back to work and get our
economy back on track," said Phil Angelides, chairman of the Apollo
Alliance.He called the inclusion of investments to help the country's manufacturers
retool plants and retrain workers for the clean energy economy "a major
victory that will keep millions of new, green jobs here at home and help
revive America's long suffering manufacturing sector."As expected with such a heated issue, many groups came out with statements
of concern in the wake of the vote. In a prepared statement, James C. May,
the president of the Air Transport Association of America, said, ""The
nation's airlines have an impressive environmental record and are committed
to working with the administration to address climate change, but we have
strong concerns about the Waxman-Markey bill and its punitive
one-size-fits-all approach. This cap-and-trade bill creates an onerous fuel
tax on the airline industry.""The bill aims to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions blamed for
climate change: 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, with other measures
promising additional reductions. At its core is a greenhouse gas
cap-and-trade program that gives away about 85 percent of the carbon
permits to utilities, heavy industry, refiners, among others, and includes
provisions to shield consumers from rising energy prices.Among the key provisions in the bill, according to House Majority Whip
James Clyburn:Require electric utilities to meet 20% of their electricity demand through
renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by 2020.Invest in new clean
energy technologies and energy efficiency, including energy efficiency and
renewable energy ($90 billion in new investments by 2025), carbon capture
and sequestration ($60 billion), electric and other advanced technology
vehicles ($20 billio"