Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Climate Change Bill Passes by 7 votes

'Cap and trade' faces rocky road in Senate

Washington--While the House of Representatives passed the Climate Control bill by 7 votes, the legislation could find tougher opposition in the Senate.

The American Farm Bureau Federation opposes the bill because of potential impacts on the cost of fertilizer and gas, the Farm Bureau is also deeply concerned about the fairness of the cap and trade parts of the legislation, the U.S. farmer must have a level playing field when it comes to trade or they could go out of business.

Oklahoma Congressman Frank Lucas worries about the nation's economy. "They're only capping our emissions in the United States. This has no effect on the rest of the planet. So when the cost of doing business in the United States goes up, our competitors will have a tremendous advantage with their cheaper energy as we try to work with our more expensive energy.

"The Senate will take up its version of the energy bill, and I am confident that they too will choose to move this country forward," President Barrack Obama said on Monday. After the razor thin, 7 vote victory in the U.S. House Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he's hopeful that the Senate will debate and pass the climate bill later in the fall.

But Senator Lindsay Graham (S.C.) said on 'Meet the Press on Sunday that "this bill coming out of the House is going nowhere in the Senate." In a statement, Senate Agriculture Chairman Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) also said the House legislation "is not a perfect bill."

"Cap and trade" refers to a system of buying and selling pollution permits to meet emissions limits. The 1,500-page House bill aims to slash greenhouse-gas emissions to 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. By the middle of the century, it would cut emissions to 80% below 2005 levels.

The seven vote passage in the House "spells doom in the Senate," said Sen. James Inhofe of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

"Despite a large Democratic majority in the House, and the fact that this is one of the president's top priorities, the Democratic leadership was forced to do everything possible to get a bill passed," Inhofe said on Friday.

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