The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Waxman-Markey climate change and energy bill by a narrow margin of 219-212.
The votes were split along party lines with only eight Republicans voting for the bill and 44 Democrats voting against it.
Debate over the bill has been contentious for the last several weeks with Republicans stating the bill is nothing more than an energy tax that could cost households more than $3,000 dollars a year. Democratic leaders responded by pointing to numerous studies that show costs will be negligible and benefits will include the creation of new green jobs.
The environmental community also has been split over the bill which is weaker than proposed by climate scientists and President Obama. While some prominent groups, such as Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth opposed the bill–demanding a stronger one–the numbers were more in favor of passing the bill as a starting point, with the hope that the bill could be strengthened in the continuing legislative process.
However, if anything, the bill is likely to be weakened further in the Senate, where it will be difficult for majority leader Harry Reid to gather the 60 votes necessary to overcome a Republican filibuster.
Read more about the bill’s chances in the Senate at the Forbes.com link below.