Friday, December 7, 2007

Energy Bill

As Rottenchester reported today, Congressman Kuhl voted against the Democrat's Energy Bill. The major reasons are because the now amended bill does not do anything whatsoever to help lower gas prices and the like, but rather will increase taxes and, ultimately, the price of gas. The bill also contains many silly earmarks, like completing a rainforest in Iowa and financing a speaking tour for Al Bore Gore, which are detailed below.

From Congressman Kuhl:

Today I voted against the Democratic No-Energy Bill. This bill (which is a 1,055 page bill and was introduced last night at 8:30 p.m.) doesn’t include anything to lower gas prices for American families, doesn’t include anything to help families deal with heating costs this winter, and doesn’t include anything to increase domestic energy production. In fact, the only things that the Democratic energy bill does are to increase taxes, raise gas and home heating costs, and kill American jobs. I can not vote for a bill that includes a $21.5 billion dollar tax increase and causes a net loss of 4.9 million American jobs by 2030.

If the tax increase wasn’t enough, this bill is loaded with mind-boggling pork that will let Members of Congress channel billions to their preferred “green” constituencies. Including $3 billion in funds for green projects like:

  • Financing a speaking tour by former Vice President Al Gore to promote his documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.”
  • Replacing police cars in Beverly Hills with Lexus Hybrids,
  • Buying energy-efficient hybrid snow-mobiles for ski resorts in Aspen.
  • Completing an indoor rainforest in Iowa - Because when I think of the rainforest, I think of Iowa.
Also included in this bill is a plethora of hidden earmarks including:

  • Sen. Baucus’ $161 million earmark for the Plum Creek Timber Company’s Montana Land Holdings for “native fish habitat conservation.” An earmark to a timber company for fish conservation? Maybe I am missing something but last time I checked fish don’t live in trees.
  • Chairman Rangel’s $2 billion earmark for the state of New York to develop a rail line from the JFK Airport to lower Manhattan.
The bill also includes $200 million in assistance for countries like China and India to develop energy technologies, purchase oil, and increase coal plants. With the overwhelming amount of ridiculous and hidden earmarks, it is no surprise that Speaker Pelosi hid this bill until late last night. It is unfortunate that Democrats have chosen to address this issue in such a political manipulative way, because the bill contains many provisions that I support wholeheartedly. For example, I am a cosponsor of a bill that would increase CAFÉ standards for vehicles to 35 mpg by 2020; a cosponsor of legislation to establish a Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) that would require utilities to produce 15 percent of electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020; and I recently sent a letter to leadership urging inclusion of an enhanced and expanded Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS). We need a real solution to the energy crisis and that can only occur when the Democratic leadership stops playing games.

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