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June 25, 2009, 4:44 pmObama Lobbies Lawmakers on Energy BillBy John M.

BroderAlex Wong/Getty Images President Barack Obama pushed for energy legislation in the Rose Garden.On the eve of an expected House vote on major energy legislation, President Obama shifted his argument for the bill on Thursday to emphasize its potential economic and environmental benefits.

“Make no mistake,” he said of the House legislation, “this is a jobs bill.”While he also said that the measure would help address greenhouse gas pollution and reduce American dependence on foreign sources of oil, he stressed its job-creation potential.He said that the bill will make the United States a leader in clean energy technology and help create millions of jobs in solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy.

Over time, he said, renewable energy will eventually bring down the cost of electricity to American households.Mr.

Obama delivered his longest statement yet in favor of the legislation in a five-minute appearance in the Rose Garden Thursday afternoon.

The White House and House Democratic leaders are engaged in a flurry of lobbying in advance of tomorrow’s planned vote, but senior lawmakers acknowledge that they have not yet lined up the 218 votes needed for passage.


Obama, former Vice President Al Gore, senior White House aides and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are calling wavering lawmakers in hopes of securing a majority for passage of the complex 1,201-page bill.


Obama issued a direct plea for votes.

“Now, I urge every member of Congress, Democrat and Republican, to come together to support this legislation,” Mr.

Obama said.

“I can't stress enough the importance of this vote.

I know this is going to be a close vote, in part because of the misinformation that's out there that suggests there is somehow a contradiction between investing in clean energy and our economic growth.

“But my call to those members of Congress who are still on the fence, as well as to the American people, is this: we cannot be afraid of the future.

And we can't be prisoners of the past.

We've been talking about this issue for decades.

And now is the time to finally act,” he said.
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