2009 Scorecard Vote
The generational challenge of addressing global warming only grows in importance. Additionally, America faces a deepening energy crisis predicated on our growing demand for fossil fuels and our dependence on the hostile foreign nations that provide them. Absent a drastic change in the way the world uses energy, we will soon reach a tipping point from which we will not be able to reverse the course of catastrophic climate change. We have already witnessed the onset of these effects, including increases in hurricane intensity, storm frequency, and sea-level rise that threaten coastal communities. In 2009, an increased pro-environment majority in the House of Representatives and the leadership of the Obama administration led to historic progress in the fight to stop global warming.
In the spring, Representatives Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) introduced H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) Act. H.R. 2454 would reduce global warming pollution 17% from 2005 levels by 2020 and 83% by 2050. Additionally, it would mandate that 20% of American electricity consumption come from clean, renewable sources like solar and wind power, with a portion coming from gains in efficiency, by 2020. Multiple analyses showed that ACES, when paired with unprecedented clean energy investments in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, would create nearly 2 million jobs, re-energizing our economy and making America a global leader in developing the next generation of clean energy technologies.
On June 26, after months of negotiations, the House voted to adopt the American Clean Energy and Security Act by a vote of 219-212 (House roll call vote 477). YES IS THE PRO-ENVIRONMENT VOTE. The Senate did not bring companion legislation to the floor during 2009.
H.R. 2454 marked the first time either House of Congress passed a bill to institute an economy-wide cap on greenhouse gas emissions. Because of the historic nature of this legislation, LCV has made the decision to double-score the vote, a rarely-used practice employed only for landmark bills.