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Obama brags on energy measures

Obama brags on energy measures(By Foon Rhee via Boston.com)President Obama held an event this afternoon to trumpet one of his biggest

legislative victories so far -- the narrow House passage late Friday of the

first-ever bill to tackle global warming.The sweeping legislation, passed on a 219-212 vote, would rewrite US

environmental policy in the most significant way since the 1970s Clean Air

Act and would create a controversial cap-and-trade system that would limit

carbon emissions and under which the government would sell or give away

permits to emit limited amounts.Obama said it is time for bold action to build on what he called more

action on clean energy in the last few months than in the past few decades,

including new fuel efficiency standards for all vehicles and green jobs in

the economic stimulus plan. He also announced new efficiency standards,

including compact fluorescent light bulbs. (His full remarks are below,

followed by the White House release.)He called the climate change bill "extraordinary," saying it will open the

door to a clean energy economy, end US dependence on foreign oil, and

create thousands of jobs. but he also has quibbles with the House version.During his campaign, Obama called for all the pollution permits to be sold

to help raise money for other priorities, but went along with House

Democrats' plan to give many of them away to help lower the cost to

industry.On Sunday, Obama also acknowledged reservations about a provision that

would punish trading partners that don't work to curb pollution. "At a time

when the economy worldwide is still deep in recession and we've seen a

significant drop in global trade, I think we have to be very careful about

sending any protectionist signals out there," he told reporters.House Republicans railed against the bill, saying it amounted to an energy

tax on Americans -- and Senate Republicans quickly indicated they will use

the same line of attack to try to stop the bill.Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said on "Fox News Sunday" that the

measure would lead to "significant increases" in electricity costs across

the country.But in his weekly Internet and radio address on Saturday, Obama urged the

Senate not to listen to the naysayers. "We cannot be afraid of the future,"

he said. "And we must not be prisoners of the past. Don’t believe the

misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction

between investing in clean energy and economic growth. It’s just not true."While Obama and supporters say the bill is a historic advance, some liberal

allies say it doesn't go far enough.MoveOn.org, the major advocacy group, sent a fund-raising missive to

members today asking for a vote whether to fight the bill in the Senate."The US House passed a huge energy bill Friday. Lots of good people are

applauding the passage of this legislation. But here's the ugly truth: Big

Oil and Coal lobbyists, working in cahoots with some conservative Blue Dog

Democrats, weakened the bill terribly—it now falls far short of President

Obama's campaign vision to transition America's economy to clean energy and

create millions of new jobs," the email said."In fact, the bill repeals a key part of the Clean Air Act and doesn't do

nearly enough to shift America to renewable energy -- so instead of a boom

in solar and wind, the bill locks us into dirty coal power for another

generation.... o win in the Senate, we need to make sure everyone

understands that the Clean Air Act is under attack and highlight the other

big problems with the bill. If we decide to proceed with this campaign

together, we'll boost progressive champions like those who fought in the

House, and expose conservatives who do the bidding of the oil and coal

industry."For the very latest in renewable energy jobs across the U.S. please click

here