Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Battle kicks off over huge energy bill in House panel

From Minnesotans For Global Warming

By Robert Schroeder, MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Democratic supporters of legislation to slash greenhouse gas emissions clashed with Republicans on Monday as the House Energy Committee opened debate on a sweeping energy bill that would cap emissions and mandate the use of renewable energy.

The 932-page bill has the backing of President Barack Obama, but is drawing the intense ire of Republicans and even some Democrats who worry the bill’s cap on emissions would punish industries and result in job losses.

Rep. Henry Waxman, the California Democrat who chairs the panel, said the bill is an entirely new energy policy for America.

“The legislation will create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, enhance America’s energy independence and cut global warming pollution,” Waxman said in an opening statement Monday afternoon.

Committee members plan to reconvene Tuesday morning for a second day of debate on the bill.