Environment & Energy Daily, Darren Samuelsohn, reporting: House Energy Commerce Committee voted 33-25 tonight to pass sweeping legislation that would overhaul U.S. energy and global warming policy.
Democrats largely held together in support of the 946-page bill shaped over several months of closed-door negotiations and nearly 40 hours of debate this week. Only one Republican supported the bill, as GOP opponents unified against the measure, insisting it was a costly and unattainable measure to be pushing in a tight economy.
While Democrats have long been promising success in committee, several Democratic swing votes remained at the center of attention. Reps. John Barrow of Georgia, Jim Matheson of Utah, Mike Ross of Arkansas and Charles Melancon of Louisiana voted with the Republicans against the bill.
On the GOP side, Rep. Mary Bono Mack of California bucked her party leadership and supported the legislation. Mack was the only committee Republican to publicly remain neutral on the climate bill.
“While I still have significant concerns about this bill, particularly with regard to its cost and its failure to recognize innovative technologies like advanced nuclear energy, I believe this is the right direction for our district, for our nation and for our future,” Bono Mack said in a statement.
This bill, written by Chairman Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Representative Ed Markey (D-MA), lays the foundation for a vibrant 21st century economy fueled by cleaner energy. It places an economy-wide cap on carbon pollution that will reduce emissions by 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050; requires utilities to generate about a fifth of all energy from renewable sources by 2020; invests in energy efficiency, cleaner vehicles, and carbon capture technology; gives Federal nod to feed-in tarifs and much.