House Unveils Global Warming Bill to Cut Emissions By 85%


House Democrats today are unveiling a bill that seeks to dramatically reduce carbon emissions amid growing concerns about global warming, the Boston Globe reports. The new legislation would cut emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and by 85 percent by 2050, and would reportedly include a cap-and-trade system to push utilities and industry polluters to meet those goals.

According to the Globe:

The bill, which is being introduced by Representatives Henry Waxman of California, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Ed Markey of Massachusetts, chairman of the Energy and Environment subcommittee, would also create a renewable energy standard that requires wind, solar, and other renewable sources to meet 25 percent of US energy needs by 2025. And it would create an energy efficiency resource standard that requires utilities to achieve a savings of 15 percent of electricity and 10 percent of natural gas by 2020.

“This legislation will create millions of clean energy jobs, put America on the path to energy independence, and cut global warming pollution.” Waxman said in a statement. “Our goal is to strengthen our economy by making America the world leader in new clean energy and energy efficiency technologies.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed adamant support the measure. "The President has called for landmark legislation to launch a clean energy economy that will build prosperity and balance the needs of the American people and industry," she said in a statement. "As was the case with the Energy Independence and Security Act in 2007, House leaders will work closely with the committees of jurisdiction to advance this critical legislation.

"The final legislation will: create millions of new, green jobs; increase our national security by reducing our dependence on foreign oil; increase American competitiveness by making us a technology leader; meet the climate crisis with sound science; and reduce overall energy costs for consumers and businesses. We will continue to hear the best ideas about how to tackle the challenge from a broad range of stakeholders, with the intention of having legislation on the House floor this year. The scope of this effort is historic and overdue."

The legislation is set for a committee vote in May.

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