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The U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) has approved S.1733, the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act. The bill passed the committee by a vote of 11-1, with all seven Republican members absent.

According to Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., chairwoman of the EPW and one of the sponsors of the bill, the legislation was sent to the Senate floor because it "addresses a crucial issue of our time, and advancing the bill is a necessary step on the road to garnering the 60 votes we need for a comprehensive bill that will be melded together from various committees and Senators from different regions of the country."

Republicans said they would oppose the bill until an economic analysis was conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). However, Boxer says that the Republicans' demand for another EPA analysis would be duplicative and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

"The absence of the Republicans during the EPA's presentation was a clear message that their criticism of the EPA analysis was not a substantive one," says Boxer. "Indeed, the EPA said their economic analysis was 'unprecedented' in scope and was never done for any other energy or climate bill at this stage of the process."

The second sponsor of the bill, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., is working with Sens. Joseph Lieberman, I-Conn. and Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., on a climate bill compromise, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

SOURCES: U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, The Wall Street Journal


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