BREAKING: House narrowly passes sweeping energy bill [UPDATE]

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The House of Representatives just narrowly passed The American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 (HR 2454) by a vote of 219-212.

The legislation, commonly known as the Waxman-Markey bill (named after its cosponsors Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Ed Markey (D-Mass.), is an effort to cut U.S. emissions by 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.

To do this, the bill calls for capping emissions and allowing companies to trade carbon credits; regulating cleaner fuels; investing in clean energy development; and boosting energy efficiency and renewable power.

Before passing HR 2454, the House rejected a Republican proposal 255-172 to remove the cap-and-trade provision and replace it with an aggressive push for research on everything from solar power and development of biofuels to radioactive waste and nuclear fusion.

President Obama urged passage of the legislation during a press conference in the White House Rose Garden. 

The energy bill before the House will finally create a set of incentives that will spark a clean energy transformation of our economy. It will spur the development of low-carbon sources of energy — everything from wind, solar, and geothermal power to safe nuclear energy and cleaner coal. It will spur new energy savings like the efficient windows and other materials that reduce heating costs in the winter and cooling costs in the summer.

And most importantly, it will make possible the creation of millions of new jobs. Now, make no mistake — this is a jobs bill. We’re already seeing why this is true in the clean energy investments we’re making through the Recovery Act. In California, 3,000 people will be employed to build a new solar plant that will create 1,000 jobs. In Michigan, investments in wind turbines and wind technology is expected to create over, 2,600 jobs. In Florida, three new solar projects are expected to employ 1,400 people.

The list goes on and on, but the point is this: This legislation will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. 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.

Read the president’s full statement.

UPDATE: Eight Republicans crossed over and voted yea on Friday while 44 Democrats voted no. Here’s the breakdown of the Georgia delegation.

Voting yea: John Lewis, Sanford Bishop, Hank Johnson, David Scott.

Voting no: Paul Broun, John Barrow, Nathan Deal, Phil Gingrey, Jack Kingston, John Linder, Jim Marshall, Tom Price.

The New York Times reports today the climate bill could become an election issue for 2010.

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