House Agrees on Climate Change Bill

The House will vote Friday on the biggest environmental bill in decades, after a deal was brokered Tuesday by key Democrats. The deal, which would delay the Environmental Protection Agency from hindering the ethanol industry and give the Agriculture Department control over reducing farm-based greenhouse gas emissions, was made hours after President Obama asked the House to pass the legislation. It would also require factories, power plants and refineries to reduce seven types of greenhouse gas emissions—including carbon monoxide, the biggest contributor to global warming—by 80 percent over the next 40 years. Though the bill’s opponents claim that it will hurt the U.S. economy and cost families thousands of dollars a year, estimates by the EPA show that it would raise the average household’s energy costs from only $80 a year to $111. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Henry Waxman, said it should pass as a result of support from three important groups: environmentalists, farmers, and a majority of the industries involved.