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Critical Climate Bill Clears House Committee; WWF Praises Landmark Vote

WWF: American Clean Energy Security Act will Create Economic Prosperity and Promote Energy Security; Bill Must Be Strengthened to Ensure Global Climate Agreement

WASHINGTON, DC, May 21, 2009 – Lou Leonard, Director of U.S. Climate Policy for World Wildlife Fund, today praised passage of HR 2454, the American Clean Energy Security Act, by the House Energy and Commerce Committee.  Passage of the bill marks the first time climate change legislation has cleared a House committee.  House leaders have said they expect the legislation to be voted on later this summer. 

WWF issued the following statement from Leonard:

“Passage of the American Clean Energy and Security Act through the Energy and Commerce Committee today marks a watershed moment in the decades-long battle to protect our planet from dangerous climate change and all of the economic, environmental and national security vulnerabilities it presents.

"We congratulate Chairmen Henry Waxman and Ed Markey for their heroic effort in shepherding this critical legislation through the Committee. The Chairmen skillfully and fairly led a week-long mark-up process that allowed a full and robust debate on this important issue.  Their tireless leadership produced a bill that will lay the foundation for a cleaner, more prosperous and more secure future. 

“I applaud this important step, but more work is needed. Passing a strong domestic climate change bill is critical to the success of international negotiations on the new global climate agreement.  Only with a global partnership can we solve this inherently global problem. Investments in international climate cooperation will also open up markets for American companies for clean technologies and help communities build resilience to climate change impacts.   

"To bring the world on board with a new agreement, the President will need the tools to negotiate a global deal in Copenhagen.  I remain concerned that the legislation falls far short of what is needed for international clean technology cooperation and international adaptation assistance. Unless strengthened, this bill could undermine the President’s ability to secure an effective international agreement during climate negotiations in Copenhagen this fall.

"WWF looks forward to working with Chairmen Waxman and Markey and other members of Congress to improve these provisions when the bill is taken up on the floor of the House.”