Obama Urges Senate to Pass Climate Bill

Says "no contradiction" between investing in clean energy and economic growth.

WASHINGTON, June 27, 2009— -- President Obama today urged the Senate to follow in the footsteps of the House of Representatives and pass the climate change bill that for the first time will put national limits on greenhouse gas emissions.

The bill was pushed through Friday in a slim seven-vote victory, and it faces an even tougher battle in the Senate.

The president knows it and isn't letting up the pressure on lawmakers.

"Now my call to every senator, as well as to every American, is this: We cannot be afraid of the future. And we must not be prisoners of the past," Obama said in his weekly address.

"Don't believe the misinformation out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and economic growth," he said. "It's just not true."

If approved, the legislation would limit fossil fuels through a cap-and-trade system on emissions and would encourage alternative energy sources like geothermal, wind and solar.

The U.S. government estimates that the new changes in energy policy would end up costing each American household between $80 and $175 per year.

Republicans, including Congressman Jeff Sessions of Texas, say the real cost will be far higher.

"It's clear, [House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi's national energy tax will kill American jobs, it will raise prices on hardworking American families and does almost nothing to clean up our environment," Sessions said.

And for every lawmaker who hailed the bill as a job creating, energy revolution, there was another who warned of Armaggedon.

Speaking for the bill were lawmakers like Rep. Edward Markey, D-Mass.

"This is a moment in history," he said. "This is what the American people were calling for."

On the other side was Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich.

"This bill will turn out the lights on America," he said.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., says he wants to take up the legislation sometime this fall.

The bill needs 60 votes to prevent a filibuster in the Senate and Democrats will have to fight to get there.