Memo to House GOP: We get it. You don’t believe in clean, safe sources of energy that never run out or in protecting our children and grandchildren from catastrophic global warming or in competing with China, Japan, and Europe for the jobs and industries of the future or in making polluters pay (see House GOP pledge to fight all action on climate).
But your list of 450 planned amendments to Waxman-Markey during the markup next week — [insomniacs can download the list here] — goes beyond principled opposition to petty politics.
Two dozens amendments removing the tax benefits for each and every corporate member of the US Climate Action Partnership (which served as the basis of Waxman-Markey)? How proud the founding fathers would be to see you try to use the tools of governance for meaningless attempts at retribution.
And 50 separate amendments to let each individual state opt out? [Plus a DC-opt-out amendment! It's nice to know you thought of us, too, even though you won't let us have any representation in our government, but, thank you, no, we want clean energy jobs and a livable climate.]
I am interested to see details of the “American Hero Exemption and Credit,” but since it follows the “Defense Department Exemption,” I’m guessing it would be an amendment to exempt veterans from the bill. Of course, if America keeps following your all of the above more-of-the-same energy policy, then we’ll end up with lots more veterans as it would mean our dependence on oil from unstable regions would keep rising and rising.
And what is the point of more than 100 amendments of the form:
- Suspends the Act should more than 1,000 jobs in Wyoming be lost due to implementation of this Act
- Suspends the Act should 2,000 jobs in Texas be lost due to implementation of this Act
- Suspends the Act should more than 5,000 jobs in Utah be lost due to implementation of this Act?
What can one say but, Joe ‘get shade’ Barton and House GOP plan to fiddle furiously while planet burns.
And speaking of letting the planet burn, the House GOP has introduced its alternative bill (summary here). You can’t really call it an alternative climate bill, since it doesn’t stop US greenhouse gas emissions from rising and the words “climate change” and “global warming” hardly appear in it at all — except to strip any authority from the EPA to address the problem. The bill doesn’t define the GOP position so much as redefine it or rather undefine it — the bill would undefine the word “pollutant” so that it doesn’t include greenhouse gases, and undefine renewable energy so that it does include nuclear power.
Indeed, the plan is almost indistinguishable from the infamous Cheney energy plan. You’ll remember that at the beginning of the Bush administration Cheney developed a “comprehensive” energy plan after consulting with a vast array of stakeholders — from “Exxon to “Mobil” as one pundit quipped. Well, the House GOP remove the staples and replaced the cover.
Frank O’Donnell, president of Clean Air Watch, has an excellent critique first published by Wonk Room, which I reprint below: