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Climate Change scam an excuse to burn food for fuel




win key test

vote on

climate bill

By H. Josef Hebert

and Dina Cappiello

June 26th, 2009


House Democrats narrowly

won a key test vote Friday

on sweeping legislation

to combat global warming

and usher in a new era

of cleaner energy.

Republicans said

the bill included

“the largest tax

increase in

American history.”

The vote was 217-205 to

advance the White House

backed legislation to the floor,

and 30 Democrats defected,

a reflection of the controversy

the bill sparked.

The legislation would impose

limits for the first time on

carbon dioxide and other

greenhouse gas pollution

from power plants,

factories and refineries.

It also would force a shift

from coal and other fossil

fuels to renewable and

more efficient forms

of energy.

Supporters and opponents

agreed the result would

be higher energy costs,

but disagreed widely on

the impact on consumers.

President Barack Obama

has made the measure a

top priority of his first

year in office.

The president,

along with White House

aides and House Democratic


scrambled for the votes

to assure passage.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi,

D-Calif., has pledged to

get the legislation passed

before lawmakers leave

on their July 4 vacation.

The Senate has yet to act

on the measure, and a

major struggle is expected.

In the House,

the bill’s fate depended

on the decisions of a few

dozen fence-sitting Democrats,

mainly conservatives and

moderates from contested

districts who feared the

political ramifications of

siding with the White House

and their leadership

on the measure.

Democrats left little or

nothing to chance.

Rep. Ellen Tauscher,


confirmed by the Senate on

Thursday to an administration


put off her resignation

from Congress until after

the final vote on the

climate change bill.


“The bill contains provisions

to protect consumers,

keep costs low,

help sensitive industries

transition to a clean energy

economy and promote

domestic emission

reduction efforts,”

the White House in a

statement of support

for the legislation.


saw it differently.

This “amounts to the

largest tax increase

in American history

under the guise of

climate change,”

said Rep. Mike Pence,


While the bill would impose

a “cap-and-trade” system

that would force higher

energy costs,

Republicans for weeks

have branded it an energy

tax on every American.

But Rep. Jim McGovern,


said there was a

“moral imperative to be

good stewards of the earth.”

The legislation,

totaling about 1,200 pages,

would require the U.S. to

reduce carbon dioxide and

other greenhouse gas

emissions by 17 percent

from 2005 levels by 2020

and about 80 percent

by the next century.

U.S. carbon dioxide emissions

from the burning of fossil

fuels are rising at about

1 percent a year and are

predicted to continue

increasing without

mandatory caps.

Under the bill,

the government would limit

heat-trapping pollution

from factories, refineries

and power plants.

It would distribute pollution

allowances that could be

bought and sold, depending

on whether a facility

exceeds the cap or makes

greater pollution cuts

than are required.


Obama on Thursday called it

“a vote of historic

proportions …

that will open the door to

a clean energy economy”

and green jobs.

“It will create millions

of new jobs,”

Pelosi insisted.

Both Obama and Pelosi

preferred to focus on the

economic issues rather than

on what environmentalists

view as the urgency of

reducing carbon emissions

blamed for global warming.

The Rust Belt coal-state

Democrats who have been

sitting on the fence worry

about how to explain their

vote for higher energy prices

to people back home—

and how the vote might play

out in elections next year.

Republicans have been

quick to exploit those



“Democratic leaders are

poised to march many

moderate Democrats

over a cliff …

by forcing them to vote for

a national energy tax that

is unpopular throughout

the heartland,”

Republican leader John

Boehner of Ohio said.


There was widespread

agreement that under this

cap-and-trade system,

the cost of energy would

almost certainly increase.

But Democrats argued that

much of the impact on

taxpayers would be offset

by other provisions in the bill.

Low-income consumers would

qualify for credits and rebates

to cushion the impact on their

energy bills.

Two reports issued

this week—

one from the nonpartisan

Congressional Budget Office

and the other from the

Environmental Protection


seemed to support

that argument.

The CBO analysis estimated

that the bill would cost an

average household

$175 a year;

the EPA put it at between

$80 and $110 a year.

Republicans questioned

the validity of the CBO study

and noted that even that

analysis showed actual

energy production costs


$770 per household.

Industry groups have cited

other studies showing much

higher cost to the economy

and to individuals.

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