The American Clean Energy and Security Act is the most important environmental and energy legislation in our nation's history. Today's vote is a huge achievement for the country and the climate, and we applaud Speaker Pelosi, Chairmen Waxman and Markey, and all members of the House who helped craft this landmark legislation and get it passed.
The bill that emerged from the House has the fundamental structure we need to significantly reduce carbon pollution while growing the economy. It puts a strong cap on emissions and reorients our energy market to make low-carbon power the goal. It ensures that utility rates will stay affordable and a competitive playing field for U.S. companies.
Today's vote opens the door for President Obama to sign comprehensive climate legislation into law this year. The extensive negotiations leading up to the vote helped form extraordinarily broad support for the bill as it moves to the Senate. Chairmen Waxmen and Markey bridged the traditional sectoral and regional divides of energy politics to produce legislation that has support from labor unions and businesses across the economy, to rural interests, environmental advocates, and agriculture groups.
The bill puts the U.S. on the path to significant emissions reductions, a stronger economy, and a new position of leadership in the global effort to protect the climate. We look forward to working with the Senate leadership to meet Majority Leader Reid's September target for finishing committee work on the bill.