May 12, 9:12 PM (ET)
By DINA CAPPIELLO
WASHINGTON (AP) - House Democratic leaders are scaling back plans to curb global warming and make the transition to cleaner energy in the hopes that they can get a bill passed this year.
Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., and Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., announced Tuesday evening the outlines of a deal that they said would ensure the legislation will please both environmental and industry groups and have the support of moderate Democrats on the House Energy Committee.
To do so, they have lowered targets for renewable energy, will require a smaller reduction by 2020 in the emissions blamed for global warming, and will give away valuable permits to release pollution to electricity distribution companies and auto manufacturers.
"We have resolved a good number of the issues," said Waxman, who chairs the panel and has set a Memorial Day deadline for it to clear the committee. "I believe we will have the votes for passage of this bill next week."
The bill - the American Clean Energy and Security Act - would place a limit on heat-trapping gases for the first time and reduce fossil fuel use by boosting energy efficiency and requiring more electricity to be produced from renewable sources.
While these goals are endorsed by President Barack Obama, the legislation faced opposition from fellow Democrats in coal, oil and industrial states, jeopardizing its chances of making it out of committee.