Climate Bill Squeaks Through House

In an incredibly close vote—219-212—the House of Representatives passed a climate change bill Friday, despite concerns among the GOP that the country’s economic problems would be worsened by a “national energy tax.” The divisions throughout Congress ran deep: Calif. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, a Republican, called the bill a “massive transfer of wealth” from the United States to foreign countries; Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan said that without the bill, the country would stay energy dependent on people who want to “fly planes into our buildings.” Republicans fear the bill will raise the average family’s energy bills by thousands of dollars a year, despite an analysis by the Environmental Protection Agency that said it would equal an annual increase of $80 to $111. The passage marked a huge victory for President Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as well as a “unique historical opportunity” for lawmakers to improve the environment, boost the economy and protect the country’s national security, said House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman.