Boxer-Kerry Climate Bill Arrives Amid Praise, Criticism

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"Our addiction to foreign oil hurts our economy, helps our enemies, and risks our security."

The U.S. Senate's latest effort to address global climate change emerged after several weeks of anticipation as Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) introduced their bill on Sept. 30.

The measure immediately drew applause from environmental and other organizations, and fire from oil and gas associations and other business groups. It also provided a basis for the Senate to begin serious work in the next few weeks to create a final bill, which probably will have to go to conference. The House passed its own bill, HR 2454, by seven votes on June 26.

"This bill addresses major challenges of our generation: protecting our children and the Earth from dangerous pollution; putting America back in control of our energy future; creating the policies that will lead to millions of new jobs; and through our example, inspiring similar actions around the world to avoid an unstable and dangerous future," said Boxer, who chairs the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

"Global warming is our challenge," she urged during a press briefing with Kerry, adding, "Economic recovery is our challenge. American leadership is our challenge. Let's step up right now. Let's not quit until we have fulfilled our responsibility to our children and our grandchildren."

Kerry said, "Our health, our security, our economy, our environment all demand we reinvent the way America uses energy. Our addiction to foreign oil hurts our economy, helps our enemies, and risks our security. By taking decisive action, we can and will stop climate change from becoming a 'threat multiplier' that makes an already dangerous world staggeringly more so."

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