June 25th, 2009
02:33 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama makes 11th hour push for energy bill

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/25/art.oil.gi.jpg caption="President Obama expects a climate change bill to face an extremely close vote in the House of Representatives."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama acknowledged Thursday that a climate change bill strongly backed by the White House will face an extremely close vote in the House of Representatives as early as the end of the week.

He made an urgent plea for congressional approval in what could be an early make-or-break test of his young administration.

"Now is the time for us to lead," Obama said during an appearance in the White House Rose Garden. "We cannot be afraid of the future. We cannot be prisoners to the past."

The president said the bill will spark a "clean energy transformation" of the U.S. economy and "make possible the creation of millions of new jobs."

"Make no mistake," he emphasized. "This is a jobs bill."

The climate-change bill currently being debated by the House would reduce nationwide greenhouse gas emissions 17 percent by 2020 and 83 percent by 2050 through a so-called "cap-and-trade" program.

The bill's future also remains unclear in the Senate, where leaders are holding off on advancing their own version of the legislation until it clears the House.

Filed under: Energy • President Obama
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Don

    When looking at the impact of new jobs, you must also take into account the impact of jobs that will be lost. If you create 10 new jobs but cause another 9 to be lost, you have only added 1 new job.

    The oil and gas industry employs tens of thousands of people in this country, provides royalty payments to tens of thousands of families, and pays billions in tax revenue. Any new jobs created by this initiative will be offset by losses in this vitally important sector of the economy. Some states could be crippled, and everyone in all states will pay higher energy prices.

    I'm all for renewable and alternative energy. I think it is great, and we need more of it, lots more. However, we need all forms of energy – including oil and natural gas – and we need more of ALL of them now. Also, please, don't destroy the livelihoods and careers of some people just to create jobs for others.

    June 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  2. RealityKing

    I am not going to raise your taxes one single penny if you make below 250,000 a year. -Obama 2008 presidential election promise..

    June 25, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  3. RNC = DNC = politics as usual

    Obama has misled and lied enough times now – I just don't believe him anymore. He always puts things in flowery hope-speak. But the details and impact and cost are always for someone else to discover.

    June 25, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  4. demwit

    Its a great bill! Just look at how much it has reduced Europe's CO2 emissions!!

    Oh wait...

    June 25, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  5. Tatianna

    Dear Mr. Presidunce, Americans will not allow you to hold them prisoners to the government and will not allow you to instill fear trying to do so. If we believe Lincolns words that you cant fool all the people all the time, come to think of it, thats the real question for Americans too. I wonder when theyll stop being fooled

    June 25, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  6. Shasta

    If raising the gas prices to deter people from driving as much and reducing the amount of pollution emmissions is what's needed, then I'm all for it. Our future shouldn't have to pay for the present's demand for a cushy lifestyle.

    June 25, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  7. mark

    Just another tax hike by comrade obama...

    June 25, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. You had your window Repubs, and you blew it!

    Well, I guess the REpubs are right, let's just leave the system the way it is now because we are afraid of the unknown.

    by the way, how's that strategy worked out for Meicare, Social Security, the Financial Market, etc?

    Not too good you say?

    June 25, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. I am The Great and Powerful Wizard of Rush

    We are past the tipping point, folks.
    How's that heat, south Texas? 104 hot enought for you all?

    June 25, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Biff

    17% reduction i n carbon dioxide emission in 10 years? woo hoo!!! we could probably achieve that by everyone holding their breath for 15 seconds 3 times a day.

    and jason, for your 2,000 scientist, there are 2,000 more that have the exact opposite thinking on climate change/global warming/global cooling/ or whatever we're calling it these days.

    June 25, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  11. IsaacTheForcedCatholic

    "Hey northerners, after the brutal winter you've had, and the chilly "summer" you've been enduring, how much do you believe in "global warming" now?"

    WOW are people this stupid? Of course they are, they listen to their own scientist... Rush Limbaugh. Let me see if I can get this thru your small brain. Global warming results in climate change. Climate change changes our "normal" weather patterns. All that cold ice that is melting in North Antartica, where do you think is going? Into space? Wrong. It is heading south, that is why the Northerners are getting record cold weather. Come one, even a kids know what global warming produces.

    Just because the earth is not 100% hot does not mean there is no global warming. You guys need to stop brining your IQ low and go to school!!! because it is obvious you need it!!

    June 25, 2009 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  12. Biff

    I agree with Shasta, we shouldn't drive as much because we don't always need to.

    while we are at it we shouldn't waste energy making movies, concerts, music, art, poetry, computers, telephones, or anything else that isn't a necessity. I think we should only grow corn, we really don't need clothes either to survive.

    June 25, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  13. U Amin

    We in NA need to come in line with rest of the world. 5% of population using 25% of world energy is just wasteful consumption. We have poluted enough of this world. We in NA need to eat less so V become more leaner & healthier and can fit in smaller energy efficient cars & homes. The problem of NA is the food industry that has fed us cheap antibiotic fed, hormon grown and gene manipulated garbage stuff making us fat and lazy. Hope we undergo a structural change in our life style and become more environmental friendly and respected by the rest of the world once more. Put carbon surcharge on gas guzzler cars & trucks and invest in rapid mass transport system like Europe. The vehicle tax should be as per size & weight of the vehicle because the bigger and heavier vehicles damage more the roads & infrastructure than the smaller and lighter alternatives.

    June 25, 2009 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  14. Tim, Seattle

    "Get ready to stand in the bread line if this passes
    Ang get ready to stand in a gas line and pay $10 a gallon if it doesnt.
    (an inconvienent truth to the drill baby drill society)

    Your fear monegring is a joke, no one believes you or your dinosaur Republican party anymore
    The GOP is dead...get over it

    June 25, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  15. Adam

    Yes – Change is hard specially when you don't think about the future of your children just your pocket – shame on you people. You rather see one out of 4 children in a metropolis area to be born with asthma, or Saudis who orchestrated 9/11 to get away with it , because they own us through our addiction, than do the right thing and put this country yet again on the leading position for progress.

    It's is true that every imperium fails from with in, and all you oil addicts are part of the process.
    Shame on you

    June 25, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  16. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Again, people voted for change and the rhetoric against this bill as being a tax is again the same old rhetoric of fear from republicans and the refusal to take responsibilities towards pollution and the lack of new ideas of how to create clean energy jobs!

    June 25, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  17. Trent Moore

    This is nothing more than another tax hike....if it passes, everyone get ready to pay $4+ at the pump again. The corporations with pass on these taxes to us, the consumer. The CONSUMER (yes, including all the Joe Six-packs out there) will end up footing this bill. What is insane is that this is occurring during a recession i.e., when we need consumers to spend more money. With less money in their pockets to buy other goods and services, how do we expect this legislation to help us lift ourselves out of this recession? BOTTOM LINE: CAP & TRADE IS A BAD IDEA ....PERIOD.

    June 25, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  18. Lisa

    WHAT IS IT WITH YOU PEOPLE? Obama has never pretended to be for big oil. He has always said America must go green. He campaigned on going green platforms and promises. But now that he actually wants to implement these changes the American people freak out! People, Make a decision to SACRAFICE a little for the good of the planet, your children and their children.

    If your government was in a world war and asked Americans to scale back, live on rations, die for your country, to preserve your AMERICAN way of life, you would be lining up for it. He asks you to pay a liitle more, move slowly into a greener future, and what does he get? I won't be able to buy my second SUV so forget it.

    Americans are pathetic

    June 25, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  19. vic

    So sad. Cap and Trade will destroy this country.

    June 25, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  20. Brian in AZ

    Cap and tax is not the answer.

    Unless the question is "how do we put the American economy on par with third world countries?"

    June 25, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  21. Adam

    the only thing that will convince Americans to change their addition is their pocket – I love the times when gallon was $5.00 at the pump

    June 25, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  22. Chris - Seattle

    Anyone that seems to believe it's "Global Fraud", hasn't brushed up on their Discovery Channel lately. Anyway we've been under taxed for the amount of services that American's get and the tax dollars can barely keep your local bridges and levy's from failing. America and the world has been stuck on stupid for far too long. These claims that these expert bloggers seem to spew are the exact reason, in this age of entitlement, that we can't get sh-it done collectively. If you don't think that the de-forestation alone on this planet is enough to tweek CO2 levels globally and impact mankind as a whole then you're just a dimwit.

    June 25, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  23. Tim, Seattle

    @MIch, the liar
    "Your electric bill will increase.
    Farmers will be effected by this bill and they will increase price on products.
    Manufacturing will not be able complete with other countries.
    Why do conservatives fear the future?

    The conservatives love to call everything a tax, so by Mich's own logic, then, any increase in any commodity is a tax.

    Green Energy and Healthcare are the future industries, if you think MAnufacturing is coming back to America, you are dreaming...get with the future or get out of the way.

    June 25, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. seebofubar

    To Angie,
    No, most of the country is not with him on this, his healthcare or his imigration policy. You must educate yourself and really try to understand the ramifications of this bill. It will not create jobs. What it will do is to excelerate the erosion of our economy by decreasing corporate profits and therefore reducing the workforce. Yes there may be jobs created in the "green energy" sector but the job loss and the effect on the economy will FAR outway any benifit.

    June 25, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. LacrosseMom

    Fact IS that the Laws of Supply and Demand still exist. Fuel prices dropped, Americans drove more, used more oil, prices rose!

    The price of oil will continue to rise as oil becomes scarce. That's a fact! The oil producing countries will continue to squeeze every dollar from us, Americans. We are the ones supporting Islamic terrorists, by driving the big gas guzzlers!

    Its high time, we, Americans, started to consume less, that's common sense!

    We must do all we can to find alternative fuels, to use energy wisely, to CONSERVE, and develop new forms of energy.

    America's "can do" spirit needs to rise up and come up with new sources of energy, etc.!

    June 25, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
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