Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Comprehensive Energy Legislation-- Who Stood With Big Oil And Who Stood With American Families?


Petrified that the Democrats intended to call their bluff on their two asinine months of "Drill Here Now" nonsense, a gaggle of frightened, shaking Republicans opened the day with a motion to adjourn. It was overwhelmingly defeated, although Texas Tea Party tire-gauge clowns Phil English (R-PA- $189,136), Pete Sessions (R-TX- $559,314), Phil Gingrey (R-GA- $34,500), and John Carter (R-TX- $140,900) were among the bought-off Oil company Republican extremists who voted for it.

The enabling legislation (House Resolution 1433) for Louise Slaughter's Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act seeks to reduce U.S. dependence "on oil through renewable and clean, alternative fuel technologies while building a bridge to the future through expanded access to Federal oil and natural gas resources, revising the relationship between the oil and gas industry and the consumers who own those resources and deserve a fair return from the development of publicly owned oil and gas, ending tax subsidies for large oil and gas companies, and facilitating energy efficiencies in the building, housing, and transportation sectors, and for other purposes."

Big Oil has signaled their bought-and-paid-for Republican (and Blue Dog) congressmen that they do not want this bill to pass. When the procedural votes began only two Republicans-- Peter King (NY) and the retiring Vito Fossella (NY)-- joined the Democrats to serve the interests of constituents. The rest of the Republicans were more interested in serving the interests of the Big Oil corporations that have donated $166,126,945 to Republican Party politicians since 1990. Among the "Drill Here Now" bigshots cringing and peeing in their bloomers, afraid to vote, were John Culberson (R-TX- $304,461), Tim Walberg (R-MI- $21,950), Ted Poe (R-TX- $128,650), David Dreier (R-CA- $130,400), Michael McCaul (R-TX- $108,934), and Randy Neugebauer (R-TX- $352,022). The three procedural votes passed.

Then late last night came the votes on HR 6899, the bill itself. The Republicans started with a motion to recommit (or kill) the bill. That failed 191-226, with ten corrupted Democrats-- Jason Altmire (D-PA- $2,000), John Barrow (D-GA- $20,500), Don Cazayoux (D-LA- $6,100), Travis Childers (D-MS), Joe Donnelly (D-IN- $1,000), Bill Foster (D-IL- $750), Stephanie Herseth Sandlin (D-SD- $16,850), Tim Holden (D-PA- $15,500), Gene Taylor (D-MS- $76,350) and Tim Walz (D-MN- $2,500)-- joining the GOP oil whores. The final bill passed 236 to 189 with 13 cowardly Democrats crossing the aisle to vote with the Republicans and 15 cowardly Republicans crossing the other way.

We would like to single out a few Republicans who are trying to pass themselves off as consumer-friendly moderates but who may have figured no one would know back home and took the shot and voted with Big Oil and against their own constituents:

Mary Bono Mack (R-CA- )
Charlie Dent (R-PA- )
Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL- $54,900)
Phil English (R-PA- $189,136)
Jim Gerlach (R-PA- $102,280)
Sam Graves (R-MO- $63,983)
Ric Keller (R-FL- $58,325)
Peter King (R-NY- $52,950)
Randy Kuhl (R-NY- $37,600)
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL- $69,340)

Needless to say, the radical right extremists all voted no, irresponsible, bought-off members of Congress like Michele Bachmann (R-MN- $51,700), John Culberson (R-TX- $304,461), Thelma Drake (R-VA- $86,960), David Dreier (R-CA- $130,400), Randy Forbes (R-VA- $21,050), Scott Garrett (R-NJ- $69,000), Virgil Goode (R-VA- $41,350), John Kline (R-MN- $119,205), Michael McCaul (R-TX- $108,934), Patrick McHenry (R-NC- $26,000), Steve Pearce (R-NM- $615,874), Mike Pence (R-IN- $153,450), Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA- $66,694), Mean Jean Schmidt (R-OH- $9,100), John Shadegg (R-AZ- $120,995), Frank Wolf (R-VA- $77,682), Don Young (R-AK- $957,263)...

Pete DeFazio (D-OR) explained the finances behind the bill and why almost every Republican in the House opposed it. "The oil and gas industry contributed $166 million to the Republicans since 1990, 75% of their political contributions. In fact, when President Bush took office, gas cost $1.47 a gallon. Today, gas costs $3.79. In fact, in 2002, the oil companies made $30 billion in profits. In 2008, it's projected they will make an unbelievable record $160 billion of profits, every penny extracted from American consumers and American small businesses and borrowed from overseas, putting us in huge trouble. The oil companies took care of the Republican cronies and the Republicans legislated on their behalf."

Chris Van Hollen called the Republicans out on their hypocrisy, explaining the bill. "For weeks our Republican colleagues have claimed they want an 'All of the Above' piece of legislation… it turns out they want 'All of the Above' with a big asterisk next to it. It turns out it's 'All of the Above' except let's not take away some of taxpayer giveaways and subsides to the big oil and gas companies and use them for renewable energy and energy efficiency."

The blatant hypocrisy of so many Republican congressmen will become a major campaign issue for smart Democratic challengers like Tom Perriello in the south central Virginia heartland. Tom is running against one of the most corrupt men in Congress-- and one of the most hypocritical-- Virgil Goode. "When it comes to energy independence, Rep. Goode's record is running on empty," Tom told VA-05 voters last night. "He is demonstrating tremendous hypocrisy: talking about his support for increased drilling and alternatives then voting against them. Apparently, he'd rather protect oil company profits than increase drilling and make America energy independent. Time and time again, he has consistently stood with Big Oil while working families get crushed at the pump, and he has misled voters on his record. The facts are: he gets richer as gas prices go up and his campaign gets richer as gas prices go up. It's no wonder he's voting with the oil companies while middle class families pay the price."

Tom has told us that if he can get Goode's voting record into the consciousness of voters, he'll win the race. That's why Blue America has endorsed him and is trying to help him raise money to get his message out. As for Goode's voting record, it speaks for itself:
April 20, 2005: Rep. Goode voted against an amendment to the 2005 energy bill that sought to increase average fuel economy of automobiles from 25-miles-per-gallon to 33-miles-per-gallon. [HR 6, Vote # 121, 4/20/05]

July 28, 2005: Rep. Goode voted for the energy conference report that exempted oil and gas industries from some clean-water laws, streamlined permits for oil wells and power lines on public lands, and helped the hydropower industry appeal environmental restrictions. It also included an estimated $85 billion worth of subsidies and tax breaks for most forms of energy – including oil and gas and "clean coal." [HR 6, Vote #445, 7/28/05]

January 18, 2007: Rep. Goode voted against shifting certain revenue from royalties and tax incentives from oil and gas companies into a reserve fund for alternative and renewable energies. [HR 6, Vote #40, 1/18/07]

December 6, 2007: Rep. Goode voted against comprehensive energy legislation that would raise automobile fuel-efficiency standards for the first time in 32 years. It also would eliminate or reduce $13 billion in subsidies and tax breaks for the five major oil and gas companies to be used for tax incentives for development of renewable energy sources like ethanol from grasses and wood chips and biodiesel and for energy efficiency programs and conservation. [HR 6, Vote #1140, 12/06/07]

February 27, 2008: Representative Virgil Goode opposed the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act (H.R. 5351), which will end unnecessary taxpayer subsidies to Big Oil companies and use that money to make investments in clean, renewable energy and promote energy conservation [H.R. 5351, #84, 2/27/08]

May 21, 2008: Representative Virgil Goode opposed the Energy and Tax Extenders Act of 2008, which will provide tax relief for millions of American families and extend research and development credits to help reduce America's dependence on foreign oil [H R 6049, # 344].

Last night: Rep. Goode votes against the Comprehensive American Energy Security & Consumer Protection Act which will:

• Allow drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf and increase domestic oil production in Alaska
• Extend and expand tax incentives for renewable energy, and retain and create hundreds of thousands of American "green collar" jobs
• Repeal tax subsidies for the Big Five oil companies
• Require utility companies to generate 15 percent of electricity from renewable sources -- such as wind power, biomass, wave, tidal, geothermal and solar -- by 2020
• Provide incentives to lenders and financial institutions to give lower-interest loans to consumers who build, buy or remodel their homes to improve their energy efficiency

Just up the road a piece, Sam Bennett is running against another equally culpable Bush rubber stamp cut from the same exact heinous mold. And, like Tom Perriello, Sam came out swinging today-- swinging for her neighbors in the Lehigh Valley. “With this vote, my opponent made it clear that he stands on the side of Bush and Big Oil,” Sam explained.  “He’s let so many people down in our district.  Hardworking Lehigh Valley families deserve better representation in Congress.  And when they elect me, they’re going to get it. My opponent actually wants more than just the same.  He wants to make matters worse. “If Charles W. Dent and George W. Bush have it their way, in just a couple of months, even more of us won’t be able to fill our gas tanks and get to work or keep the heat on in our own homes.  We can absolutely do better than that and it’s time for a change.  So, as your representative in Congress, I’ll do more than talk about America’s energy future.  I’ll vote YES.” This profile of Dent's energy record looks an awful lot like Goode's-- sickening. They should both be help accountable in November:
• Dent says NO to American Energy Security [HR 6899, Vote 599, 9/16/08, passed 236 to 189
• Rep. Charlie Dent has taken $75,831 in campaign contributions from the oil and gas industry. []
• Dent says NO to renewable energy standards for electric companies.  [HR 3221, Vote 827, 08/04/07]
• Dent says NO to energy efficiency and conservation funding. [HR 2419, Vote 207, 5/24/05]

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At 1:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As if that weren't enough, the European Union (EU) has gone on record to call for policies based on "maintaining energy security" based on increased coal- and nuclear-power plant construction as opposed to "faddish" alternative energy sources.

Which proves that we "morally superior" Americans have no monopoly on warped and misguided "energy security" policies.


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