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White House, Republicans meet on climate law

White House, Republicans meet on climate law

President Barack Obama summoned 36 House Democrats to the White House on Tuesday to urge them to agree on climate and energy legislation that is under increasing criticism from Republicans and members of his own party.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden met with the lawmakers to discuss two of their key domestic priorities _ legislation to cut the emissions linked to global warming by requiring cleaner sources of energy and efforts to overhaul health care.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Henry Waxman and Rep. Ed Markey, both Democrats, unveiled a draft bill in March that would reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with an Obama campaign proposal.
But the committee has postponed writing the final version of the bill because of concerns raised by moderate Democrats about the cost.
Obama's budget expects to raise $650 billion by auctioning off permits to companies that release heat-trapping gases, with the bulk of the money going back to families to help with higher energy prices.
Democrats from coal and industrial states are pushing Waxman and Markey to distribute at least some of those permits for free to ease costs.
Meanwhile, House Republicans gathered for their own energy summit to criticize the Waxman-Markey bill, which they said would create a national energy tax and hurt middle-class families and small businesses. Similar meetings are being planned this month in Pittsburgh, Indianapolis and California before Republicans roll out their own plans to curb fossil fuel use and clean up the environment.
Rep. Mike Pence said Tuesday that the Republicans will look for commonsense solutions to lower energy costs, increase energy supply and create jobs.
Pence said the Democrats' plan will "kill jobs, raise taxes and lead to more government intrusion."
Meanwhile, a bipartisan group of seven House members, including two Republicans on the Energy committee, unveiled rival legislation Tuesday.
The American Conservation and Clean Energy Independence Act, which is an update of a bill introduced last year, pays for the transition to cleaner energy sources using royalties from expanded oil and gas production offshore and on other federal lands.
At a news conference introducing the bill, Rep. Neil Abercrombie, a Democrat, said progress on the Waxman-Markey bill _ which would place a limit on greenhouse gases by putting a price on heat-trapping pollution _ was "essentially stalled."
"You can require, mandate until you turn blue," Abercrombie said. "If you don't finance it, you don't actually invest in it, you don't actually do it, you end up trading pollution. This is paid for."
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On the Net:
http://energycommerce.house.gov


Updated : 2021-05-15 14:22 GMT+08:00