Republicans are “rooting against” the U.S. and the world by standing against climate change legislation, the economic stimulus package, and healthcare reform bills, Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., said this week, according to a report by The Hill.
“They want to play politics and see if they can keep any achievements from being accomplished -- for fear they might become beneficial to the Democrats,” said Waxman on MSNBC. He was one of the sponsors of the climate change legislation narrowly passed by the House last week.
“So they’re rooting against the country,” Waxman added. “And I think in this case they’re even rooting against the world, because the world needs to get its act together to stop global warming. I wish they were playing a more constructive role.”
On June 26, 2009, the House of Representatives passed the landmark American Clean Energy and Security Act. It now faces a vote in the Senate.
In a press release at that time, Waxman, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said, “Today we have taken decisive and historic action to promote America’s energy security and to create millions of clean energy jobs that will drive our economic recovery and long-term growth.
“After more than three decades of being held hostage to the influence of foreign energy suppliers, this legislation at long last begins to break our addiction to imported foreign oil and put us on a path to true energy security,” he added.
The bill contains the following key provisions, as interpreted by Waxman: Requires electric utilities to meet 20 percent of their electricity demand through renewable energy sources and energy efficiency by 2020. Invests $190 billion in new clean energy technologies and energy efficiency, including energy efficiency and renewable energy ($90 billion in new investments by 2025), carbon capture and sequestration ($60 billion), electric and other advanced technology vehicles ($20 billion), and basic scientific research and development ($20 billion). Mandates new energy-saving standards for buildings, appliances, and industry. Reduces carbon emissions from major U.S. sources by 17 percent by 2020 and over 80 percent by 2050 compared to 2005 levels. Protects consumers from energy price increases. According to recent analyses from the Congressional Budget Office and the Environmental Protection Agency, the legislation will cost each household less than 50 cents per day in 2020 (not including energy efficiency savings).
In further remarks to MSNBC this week, Waxman conceded that his climate change legislation would have to “defy conventional wisdom” in the Senate, where pundits opine it will have difficulty drawing-in enough Republicans and centrist Democrats to overcome a filibuster.
“I think we have to defy conventional wisdom and move this important legislation forward,” he added. “It’s going to help us become more energy independent, and that’s important for our national security.”
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