WASHINGTON (CNN) – A sharply divided House of Representatives debated passage of a White House-backed climate change bill Friday as Democratic leaders made a final push among members worried about the legislation's potential economic and political fallout.
"We're getting there," House Majority Whip James Clyburn, D-South Carolina, told CNN. "We're on the eight (yard line). First and goal."
The bill would reduce nationwide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 through a so-called "cap-and-trade" program under which companies would buy and sell emissions credits.
Among other things, the bill would also require utilities to generate an increasing amount of power from renewable sources.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – House Democratic leaders are furiously lobbying their members and moderate Republicans to support a landmark energy bill in the face of resistance from some conservative members of their own party, and staunch opposition from the GOP - roadblocks that are making it difficult to find the 218 votes necessary to pass the measure, according to Democratic leadership aides.
A vote on the Clean Energy and Security Act, which would restrict emissions of green house gases and require use of alternative energy in an effort to slow the effects of global warming, is scheduled for Friday.
The legislation's lead sponsors held a pep rally outside the Capitol on Wednesday to whip up support for the legislation's passage.
"We are going to pass the most important energy and environment bill in history," declared Rep Ed Markey, D-Masachusetts, chairman of the Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming. "We are going to reduce the carbon we send up into the atmosphere but at the same time we are going to begin to back out the oil that we import from countries that we should not be importing it from."
The legislation would require a 17 percent emissions reduction from 2005 levels by 2020, mandate electric utilities to meet 20% of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources by 2020, provide $90 billion for new investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy, along with $60 billion for carbon capture and sequestration. Another key provision, termed "cap-and-trade," would require industries and manufacturers to cut carbon emissions by setting up a system where they could buy and sell pollution credits.
(CNN) – Man-made climate change threatens to stress water resources, challenge crops and livestock, raise sea levels, and adversely affect human health, according to a strongly-worded report from the Obama administration released Tuesday.
The nearly 200-page document on global climate change - released by the White House science adviser and mandated by Congress - does not include new research, but encompasses several recent studies on the effects of global warming over the last half century.
Among the report's key findings are an "unequivocal and primarily human-induced" rise in the earth's temperate of 2 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 50 years, and a projection of more rapidly changing temperatures over the next several decades.
The continuing temperature rise is likely to spur a series of negative consequences for the Earth's energy supply, water, transportation, ecosystems and health, the report also states.
"[The report] tells us why remedial action is needed sooner rather than later, as well as showing why that action must include both global emissions reductions to reduce the extent of climate change and local adaptation measures to reduce the damage from the changes that are no longer avoidable," said John P. Holdren, the White House science adviser.
(CNN) - Sen. James Inhofe called President Barack Obama’s plan to allow 14 states to regulate their own fuel emission standards “environmental thuggery” in an interview published Monday.
Obama’s executive order seeks to reduce greenhouse gases by allowing states like California to require stricter fuel standards for cars.
The Oklahoma senator a ranking member of the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee and a longtime global warming skeptic, told CNN Monday the proposed plan would too costly for the beleaguered auto industry. “I think you’re going to see them coming in requesting more bailouts now as a result of this,” said Inhofe.
WASHINGTON (CNN) – Remember "drill, baby drill"? In its last weeks in office, the Bush administration is starting to make it happen by quietly starting the process of exploration and drilling off the coast of Virginia.
The move means that President-elect Barack Obama and brand new interior secretary nominee Ken Salazar - a Democratic senator from Colorado - will have to jump feet-first into the decades-old debate over offshore oil drilling. It's an issue where the two disagreed at one point.
Watch: Obama's choice for the Interior Department isn't all green, say some
The state is ground zero for the drilling debate because of possible reserves off the coast and what energy experts see as a friendlier government than elsewhere.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The Bush administration cleared the way Thursday for federal agencies to skip consultations with government scientists when embarking on projects that could impact endangered wildlife, the interior secretary said.
The final regulations to the Endangered Species Act take effect before President Bush leaves office in January, but wildlife conservation groups say undoing the damage could take months.
"The responsibility to initiate consultation will still lie with the federal agency undertaking the action," Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne said, but if the agency in question can satisfy the requirement that no harm will come to an endangered species, then there is no need to consult with either the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service or the National Marine Fisheries Services.
The determination of "no harm" will rest with agency bureaucrats instead of scientists, but the agencies can still seek the input of the scientists on a voluntary basis, Kempthorne said.
Developers and agencies with large projects have long sought a weakening of Endangered Species Act regulations, which they say delay their projects and add to costs.