As Vote Nears, Obama Pitches Climate Change Bill as a Job Creator
By Michael A. Fletcher
President Obama called on Congress to pass legislation to battle climate change, saying the measure will create jobs and "open the door to a new clean-energy economy."
Speaking in the Rose Garden as the House neared a critical vote on the measure, Obama talked up the job creating aspects of the measure, while making only passing mention of its environmental benefits.
Obama said the coming House vote is of "historic proportions" as it will help clear the way for the economy to begin a long turn from one driven by relatively cheap fossil fuels to one powered by low-polluting, renewable sources of energy such as wind, solar and geothermal.
Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the White House was working hard to line up support for the measure, with the president and other members of his "energy team" calling House members in a bid to win commitments in what promises to be a close vote. The prospects in the Senate are thought to be even more precarious.
House Republicans have said the bill would lead to large new energy taxes for Americans that would further weaken an already struggling economy by requiring utilities and other large users of coal, gas and other fossil fuels to buy pollution credits or invest in new technology to reduce or capture emissions.
The bill in the House would require the country to cut greenhouse gas emissions, a goal that would be reached through greater energy efficiency, new technologies to limit emissions and greater reliance on renewable energy.
"This legislation will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy," Obama said. "That will lead to the creation of new businesses and entire new industries. And that will lead to American jobs that pay well and can't be outsourced."
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