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The American Clean Energy and Security Act appeared to be stalling out last week over concerns from conservative farm-state Democrats. But House leaders are pushing forward with their original schedule and are confident they can strike a deal in time to have the bill ready for the House floor by Friday.

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(This post by Isabelle Cutting, OpenCongress Research Assistant) In January, Rep. Henry Waxman [D, CA-30] replaced the more moderate Rep. John Dingell [D, MI-15] as the Chairman for the Energy and Commerce Committee by a secret vote of 137-122 held amongst House Democrats. The motivation was to have a progressive at the helm of the committee that would hold jurisdiction over some of the most important legislation that would be coming up in the 111th Congress. Indeed, as Chairman, Rep. Wax...

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At Slashdot, moogsynth writes: Buried in section 329 of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act (H.R. 2410), voted in recently, are measures to oppose any global climate change treaty that weakens the IP rights in the green tech of American companies. Peter Zura's patent blog notes that 'the vote comes in anticipation of the upcoming negotiations in December as part of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. ... Previously, there was sufficient chatter in international circles on comp...

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There's a lot happening on the Hill this week, and we'll be covering it all and providing links to others who are covering it as best we can. With so much happening, I thought it would be useful to take a step back for a big-picture look at how Congress' next few months are shaping up. Click through for an update on where things stand with four of the biggest issues currently before Congress -- health care reform, climate change, financial regulatory reform and immigration.

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Cap and Trade Basics

May 22, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

Marketplace's Paddy Hirsch goes over the basics of cap and trade. This is the, essentially, the policy mechanism at the center of the climate change bill going through Congress, the American Clean Energy And Security Act of 2009. Meet Cap 'n Trade from Marketplace on Vimeo....

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I was expecting this to take even longer than it did, but apparently Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee backed off their threats and posturing to delay progress on the Waxman-Markley climate change bill and it has now been approved by the committee. It's a big step forward for the bill, but it will face many bigger challenges later on in the legislative process.

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Cap-and-Trade Speed Read

May 21, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

After seeing the absurd list of amendments Republicans submitted to the American Clean Energy And Security Act during committee markup, it's pretty obvious that they are going to try to delay the process however they can. One dilatory tactic they could use would require the entire 496-page bill and all its 450+ amendments to be read aloud.

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Climate Change Bill Mark-up

May 18, 2009 - by Donny Shaw

House Democrats introduced a gigantic cap-and-trade climate change bill to Congress last week and it's getting it's first big action TODAY. At 1 pm EST, the House Energy and Commerce Committee will begin the mark-up process. You can tune in to a live broadcast here. This committee work is where the most important tweaking takes generally place. Follow Congress Matters for mark-up liveblogging. Apparently, Republicans are planning on submitting 450 amendments during the markup. A lot of them lo...

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House Committee Release Draft Climate Bill

April 2, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

If you read my climate change primer, you know that House leaders were expected to push for a comprehensive energy package, tying together a climate change bill and legislation for a renewable energy standard, changes to nations electrical grid, and energy efficiency. On Tuesday, a draft of that House package was released by the Energy and Commerce Committee.

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If you're following the debate over health care reform or climate change, Ezra Klein's piece on the budget reconciliation process is a must read. I know, it sounds dull, but it is probably the Democrats' best chance of passing health care or climate change bills this session, so you ought to get to know it. The basic idea is that there exists a process for allowing an up-or-down vote - 51 votes, not the 60 we are used to - on legislative proposals by attaching them to the annual budget. Sen. ...

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Energy and Climate Change Primer for the 111th Congress

March 18, 2009 - by Avelino Maestas

The AIG bonus scandal is burning through the media universe, but Congress is also continuing work on the legislative agenda. Some of the big pieces in the coming months will be on the energy front. New details were recently released about a proposed renewable energy standard (which would require utilities to produce a percentage of their power via renewable sources, like solar and wind). How that RES bill will move through the House and, more importantly, the Senate, is a bit confusing and very political. So, here's an OpenCongress primer on the looming energy/climate change battle.

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