In a 219-212 vote, the House of Representatives passed on Friday a climate bill designed to decrease U.S. dependence on oil and create “green” jobs. It’s now up to the Senate to pass or veto the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which also proposes a cap-and-trade system to impose historic limits on U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
The bill has been tweaked since it was approved in May by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and it remains unclear how much progress the Senate will make on the bill. In it, U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases would be reduced 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels. That is less ambitious than the 20 percent initially sought, but slightly more aggressive than the approximately 15 percent Obama proposed. The legislation sets further pollution reduction goals — 42 percent by 2030 and 83 percent by 2050, with the latter just slightly higher than Obama suggested [Reuters]. The bill also speeds up the administration of $346 million in stimulus funds for the development and implementation of energy efficient technology.