President Obama urged senators to ignore “misinformation” from critics of his energy bill, which passed the House of Representatives late Friday night despite GOP predictions that it will further damage the economy, the Washington Post reported.
“We must not be prisoners of the past,” he said in his radio and Internet address. “Don’t believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth. It’s just not true.”
Obama congratulated the House for passage of the bill, which passed narrowly in the House, 219-212. If made into law, the bill would mandate reductions in carbon emissions and allow companies to trade the rights to pollute while lowering overall pollution over the next decades.
Analysts have been saying for weeks that the bill’s passage uncertain in the Senate, where many worry about the impact the bill could have on the nation’s economic recovery.
Critics are warning the bill could stifle the economy by sending energy costs sky high. A press release by the Republican National Committee just the bill passed in the House said: “House Democrats Ram Through National Energy Tax That Will Cost You Monday Through Friday.”
Republican Whip Eric Cantor said in a statement following the House passage, “After a year of higher electric bills, gas prices, and food costs, Americans will remember this vote in 2010.”
But White House officials, however, said the bill will jump start innovation by creating incentives for companies to produce or use cleaner energy. In his address, Obama pointed to several examples in Michigan, Florida and California to support his contention that the bill will create jobs.
“The list goes on and on, but the point is this: this legislation will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. That will lead to the creation of new businesses and entire new industries. And that will lead to American jobs that pay well and cannot be outsourced,” Obama said.