Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on Tuesday called for efforts to create energy independence and to combat climate change to be wrapped into one large energy package. It's a position she had not previously adopted, but one which has been advocated by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman, also a California Democrat.
"I would like to see one bill, which is the energy bill, with the cap and trade and the grid piece," Pelosi told a gathering of reporters and liberal writers in the Capitol building.
A House bill from last session, backed by Pelosi, called for 15 percent of U.S. energy production to come from renewable sources by 2020. A Pelosi spokesman said that she is calling for the establishment of a renewable energy standard in the new legislation.
The cap-and-trade bill would also set a limit on carbon emissions and create a regime in which companies can trade credits that would allow emission of a certain amount of carbon. Pelosi also referenced investment in a "smart grid" that would be able to transport renewable energy back and forth from generation to use.
"I think having it as one bill shows the -- I don't want to say the integrity -- the oneness of it all, how it all relates to each other," said Pelosi.
Waxman spokesperson Karen Lightfoot did not return a call requesting comment.