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Climate bill success predicted in the US

20 May 2009


WASHINGTON, May 18 (Reuters) - A leading U.S. lawmaker behind efforts to tackle global warming predicted on Monday that his climate change bill will advance this week in the House of Representatives, even as Republicans warned it will ruin the ailing U.S. economy.

Representative Henry Waxman, the Democratic chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told reporters he believed "We'll have a majority" to move the legislation along after his panel heard opening statements about the 932-page measure.

The committee is expected to spend most of this week arguing details of the bill that aims to put new limits on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas pollution that is blamed for global warming.

As the House panel began its work, the Obama administration prepared to attack global warming on another front. Sources said the White House would soon unveil a more aggressive timetable for improving automobile fuel efficiency. [ID;nN18364500]

"Our economy is suffering, we are squandering billions of dollars to feed our addiction on foreign oil and our environment is overheating," Waxman said, opening a contentious debate in his committee.

With the bill's mandate to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases 17 percent by 2020 from 2005 levels, Waxman said it would help the U.S. economy by creating new high-tech jobs while also averting the ecological disasters some scientists link to global warming.

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