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06/25/2009 12:00 PM     print story email story  

House Set to Vote Friday on Waxman-Markey News

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has schedule a vote for Friday on the Waxman-Markey climate-energy bill. 

Pelosi has stated that the Houe would pass the legislation by the July 4 recess, and the pressure appears to have pushed through an agreement with moderate Democrats in the Agriculture Committee who had threatened to block the bill if protections were not put in place for the nation's farmers 

House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) said Tuesday evening that he reached an agreement with Agriculture Committee Chairman Collin Peterson (D-Minn.).

The compromise calls for the Agriculture Department to oversee farm carbon sequestration initiatives instead of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). It also would delay by five years the controversial land-use accounting method adopted by the EPA for measuring life cycle greenhouse gas emissions of ethanol.

And finally, agriculture will not be required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the climate change bill.

Environmental Community Reacts

Numerous environmental groups have upped the pressure, calling on legislators to pass the bill on Friday. The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) said it will not endorse any member of the House of Representatives in the 2010 election cycle who votes against final passage of this bill.

LCV says this is the most important piece of environmental legislation to ever come before the House of Representatives.

However, not all groups are supporting the bill. Friends of the Earth on Tuesday launched an advertising campaign opposing the bill.

The ads call attention to the fact that the bill is based on a blueprint written in part by polluting corporations like Shell Oil and Duke Energy, which the group says undermined the ability of the bill to solve the problems it is intended to address.

“Last November, the American people voted for change. Unfortunately, while the party in power may have changed, the process through which this bill was negotiated makes it clear that the overwhelming influence of corporate special interests has not," Friends of the Earth President Brent Blackwelder said.

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