Seemingly defeating the odds, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly approved a landmark global-warming bill on June 26 by a 219-212 vote, setting the stage for further action on the bill. But while it has a fair amount of support from a wide range of groups and is a priority of the Obama administration, the bill faces a hurdle in the Senate, where Republicans and moderate Democrats could prevent its passage.
The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, introduced by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.), would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by more than 80% by 2050 compared with 2005 levels through a cap-and-trade system. It would require electric utilities to meet 20% of their electricity demand through renewable-energy sources and energy efficiency by 2020 and invest $190 billion in new clean-energy technologies and energy efficiency. This investment would include $60 billion for carbon-capture and -sequestration research and development.