This is a great day. I don't care if you think it got watered down. Henry Waxman did a great job getting this bill to final passage, and I think it bodes really well for House passage, and even perhaps Senate passage.
This is the most important thing that we should be doing in the next five years, and even longer. Even though we didn't get a full auction, this will create a structure by which we can move forward on climate change and make changes to the allocation system over time, if necessary.
In sum, I think getting past Energy and Commerce is a huge victory, given that it was the most difficult hurdle in the House.
But we are in for a hell of a fight on this bill. We better get ready if we want to save the world for clean energy and from climate change.
UPDATE: Here's a copy of Chairman Waxman's statement.
"Today the Committee took 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," said Chairman Waxman. "This bill, when enacted into law this year, will break our dependence on foreign oil, make our nation the world leader in clean energy jobs and technology, and cut global warming pollution. I am grateful to my colleagues who supported this legislation and to President Obama for his outstanding leadership on these critical issues."
"With this plan, we will shape a new energy destiny for our country, where we innovate more and pollute less," said Subcommittee Chairman Markey. "Today we have chosen bold action to preserve good paying jobs here in America and preserve our planet. In just eight weeks, Chairman Waxman and I, working with our entire committee, have moved us farther down the path toward energy independence than our country had moved in the past eight years."
The American Clean Energy and Security Act will create millions of new clean energy jobs, save consumers hundreds of billions of dollars in energy costs, enhance America's energy independence, and cut global warming pollution. To meet these goals, the legislation has four titles:
* A clean energy title that promotes renewable sources of energy, carbon capture and sequestration technologies, clean electric vehicles, and the smart grid and electricity transmission.
* An energy efficiency title that increases energy efficiency across all sectors of the economy, including buildings, appliances, transportation, and industry.
* A global warming title that places limits on emissions of heat-trapping pollutants. This legislation would cut global warming pollution by 17% compared to 2005 levels in 2020, by 42% in 2030, and by 83% in 2050. These are science-based targets and within the range agreed to by USCAP.
* A title that protects U.S. consumers and industry and promotes green jobs during the transition to a clean energy economy.
The legislation has received wide support from electric utilities; energy companies; manufacturing, industry, and corporate companies; labor unions; and community and environmental organizations.