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MD, VA Lawmakers Have Mixed Reactions To President's Energy Plans

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By Manuel Quinones

Democrats and Republicans from the D.C. area are welcoming President Obama's call for a stronger emphasis on clean and renewable energy. Still, many lawmakers object to his methods.

Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) says his constituents are probably willing to pay a bit more in gas to help move America toward clean energy.

"They feel that we would be far better off sacrificing a little now so that our grandchildren have the benefit of alternative forms of energy," says Moran.

But Republicans and even many Democrats are objecting to the president's plans for promoting renewable energy and preventing climate change. Take northern Maryland Rep. Roscoe Bartlett (R-Md.). He voted against the House's so-called "cap and trade" bill last year but supports promoting clean energy.

"I think it would benefit my districts because we have a lot of entrepreneurs ready to go," he says.

Many skeptics object to any caps on emissions, which they say will hurt existing industries. Virginia, for example, is ranked sixteenth in natural gas production and thirteenth in coal.

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