Cap-and-Trade Debate Drags On in House Energy Committee
By David A. Fahrenthold
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
After lawmakers consumed all of Monday afternoon with opening statements, debate over a bill that would cap U.S. greenhouse gas emissions finally got underway in a House committee yesterday.
But it has not gotten far.
The Energy and Commerce Committee spent its first eight hours yesterday considering six amendments to the mammoth bill, which would create a "cap-and-trade" system that forces polluters to amass credits equal to their emissions.
That leaves a lot of work to do, if the committee is to meet Chairman Henry A. Waxman's goal of passing the bill out of the committee by the end of the week. Rep. Joe Barton (Tex.), the ranking Republican, said his side could submit as many as 400 amendments.
In general, Democrats have praised the bill as a long-overdue solution to the problem of climate change. Republicans said that it would add both cost and complications to electricity, gasoline and other sources of fossil-fuel energy. One Republican said the bill would lead to a "permanent recession." Read More
There is a good chance that this will cost American consumers millions, if not billions of dollars. There is a good chance that it will stifle American production and cost American jobs. There is a good chance that this plan could severely restrict American agriculture’s ability to feed ourselves. And there is a good chance that climate change isn’t man made and all of this will be for nothing. Congress owes the American public an honest debate about climate change before they spend more of our grandkids’ money on another problem that may or may not exist.