Skip to comments.3 Hours, 2 Amendments: ACES Climate Bill Hits the House Floor
Posted on 06/26/2009 9:51:04 AM PDT by Maelstorm
Here we go. The U.S. House is about to launch a three-hour debate and then a vote this afternoon on the American Clean Energy and Security (ACES) climate bill.
Under the rules that were just approved, only two amendments will be considered, one from each party:
The first is a 310-page managers amendment submitted early this morning by ACES author Henry Waxman (D-Calif.).
The bulk of Waxmans amendment involves the concessions that Waxman made to Rep. Collin Peterson and his farm-state Democrats to win their support for the climate bill, including shifting oversight of offset programs from the EPA to the Department of Agriculture and restricting how the EPA evaluates lifecycle emissions from biofuels. Greenpeace named both as tipping points for its decision yesterday to call on the House to reject the ACES legislation.
Waxman's amendment also incorporates a proposal from Rep. Dina Titus (D-Nevada) that would extend the length of government contracts for renewable http://www.freerepublic.com/perl/post_article energy purchases from 10 years to 20 years to encourage more solar investments in places such as military bases.
The Republican amendment was written by Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) to replace the text of ACES with his "New Manhattan Project for Energy Independence."
Forbes proposal doesnt establish emissions targets, a cap-and-trade program or renewable electricity standards, as ACES does. Instead it would set up a commission to come up with recommendations by next year that could move the United States to 100 percent energy independence by 2030.
To get to that goal, Forbes plan would tap the nations entrepreneurial spirit by establishing prizes to encourage for the first people or groups to meet these seven goals: make 70 mpg vehicles that are affordable, cut home and business energy usage in half, make solar power work at the same cost as coal, make biofuels cost-competitive with gasoline, safely and cheaply capture carbon emissions and store them, safely store or neutralize nuclear waste, and produce usable electricity from nuclear fusion.
Just about everyone was weighing in on the bill this morning, from editorials in the major newspapers, to the head of the European Commission, to members of Congress speaking out. Here's a sample:
On the House floor, Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill.) urged his colleagues who still claim climate change is a hoax to take off their blinders.
There are hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies that say climate change is real and mans actions are contributing, Quigley said. Lets face reality and do whats right for our children and our childrens children."
Several Republicans, including Texas Rep. Joe Barton, complained the bill was being rushed to a vote without giving House members enough time to study its 1,201 pages or Waxmans new amendment. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), a member of the Rules Committee, said not one member had read the entire bill: "We even joked about that as we walked in.
Rep. John Shimkus (R-Ill.) pulled up a photograph to illustrate an opposition view of ACES:
If we pass this bill we get this: Unemployed miners.
Rep. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.), speaking on CSPAN, described the debate as optimists vs. pessimists and argued that it was worth 47 cents a day to leave healthy forests and coasts to the next generation.
Take a deep breath here. Look at the evidence, Inslee said. The status quo is not good enough.
President Obama, who stayed behind the scenes on the bill until this week, yesterday publicly urged House members, Republican and Democrat, to pass the bill because it would create clean energy jobs and keep the United States at the forefront of the technology. He then joined Waxman and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in lobbying undecided members into the evening at a White House luau.
Supporters need 218 votes for the bill to pass, and last night the count was close.
From Brussels this morning, EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso also urged the House to pass the bill, telling The Associated Press:
"We want the U.S. to go as far and as fast as they can on climate change," Barroso said. "We want Waxman-Markey to succeed. ... Rarely, perhaps, has U.S. domestic legislation been so carefully monitored internationally."
"President Obama's personal commitment ... has amounted to nothing less than a sea-change in the U.S. position. His leadership means that the United States is now back at the table."
Newspaper editorial writers across the country weighed in on both sides of the debate.
The Washington Post, like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, argued that the bill wasn't strong enough:
It's not too late to hope for a cleaner cap-and-trade bill such proposals are circulating on Capitol Hill or a properly designed carbon tax. Given that congressional action could set a template for years or decades, we think it's too soon to settle for something that falls so far short of ideal.
The New York Times, like Sierra Club and 1sky, argued that while ACES isn't perfect, it's a necessary step forward there is no more time to waste:
We believe that it is an important beginning to the urgent task of averting the worst damage from climate change. Approval would show that the United States is ready to lead and would pressure other countries to follow. Rejection could mean more wasted years and more damage to the planet.
London's Guardian newspaper stressed in its own editorial that the world was looking to Washington for action:
Yes, the U.S. is late to the climate-change fight; true, these steps are not big enough. But Washington is at last playing catch-up - and that is cause for modest optimism.
Back on the House floor, Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) described the conflict that lawmakers from energy states like hers faced between their region's industries and the need to do what's right for the planet.
This is heavy lifting. This is for the courageous," she said. "In this legislation there is a great effort to ensure that the American people are addressed fairly. We have to get started. We have to be innovative.
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The Wall Street Journal piece on the bill was scary.
My Energy Manifesto:
* Cease all ethanol subsidies. (If an entrepreneur want to go for it let ethanol be successful on its own merits with good ol American market forces.) Ethanol takes away from food production and the unintended consequence is higher food costs. As diesel prices go up, the cost of farming tips the balance of cost to make ethanol a bad idea. Just say "no" to ethanol! Even Jimmy Carter says that diverting farm production from food to fuel is dumb even HE gets it. This will create only ONE "blend" of gasoline and will cease regional "boutique" blends (gasohols) which are stupid, costly, and meaningless. Trucking custom blends around the country is wasteful. Ethanol blends may actually lead to fewer miles to the gallon, and adds to the cost of production and transportation. Newer cars do not need oxygenated fuels.
* Lift the restrictions in order to drill for oil in Alaska, Gulf of Mexico, and other sites in the CONUS as a matter of national security.
* Encourage the petro industry to construct state-of-the-art refineries and/or retrofit current and dormant ones and crank up production for our newly-accessed oil in the CONUS. Use the "model" of the Joliet refinery, built in the late 1970's (it is still considered 'new' since few others have been built since). The Joliet refinery specializes in "sour-heavy" crude and ONLY cracks US-pumped oil. Screw the "light-sweet" from foreign countries who hate us.
* Make all carbon credit scams unlawful, including "cap and trade" feel-good screwing of Americans. Discrediting Algore should have been a slam-dunk a long time ago. Stop electing Reps who buy into the Global Warming / Global Cooling / Climate Change Hoax. CO2 is not our enemy!
* Construct SEVERAL, regional Pebble-Bed Modular Reactors (or other similar modern designs) that are rechargeable, and cleaner than any current nuclear generator design. Refine spent nuke fuel for recycling. DO SOMETHING NUCLEAR to resolve energy problems.
* Use the residual heat from the reactors above to process motor fuel from coal and/or shale. Even though Clinton "stole" some of the best coal reserves, we still have a lot to use (much of it in Illinois which has high unemployment).
* Become independent enough to make the cartels (i.e. OPEC) inconsequential.
* Lift or cap the tax on gasoline. When the tax is higher than the profit margin, the argument over what is obscene becomes moot.
* List (chapter and verse) all the regulations and laws that need to be repealed in order to drill, and drill now. Use this list as the new "Contract With America for Energy Security". Have a mega-bill introduced that in one fell swoop removes the self-imposed energy embargo. California is dying from self-inflicted denial of oil.
If you squint real hard, and read between the lines, the manifesto will require fewer RINOs and LibDems and the election of some clear-minded conservatives to even consider the above.
“American Communist Energy Scam”
Better start working the Senate side. The House wouldn’t be taking this up unless they had the votes nailed down.
America has lost it. Those politicians who haven't been bought by GE and Goldman Sachs are either insane or vapidly stupid. This cap & trade bill is nothing more than a ripoff and a means of exploitation. These bastards don't even bother to read what they foist on us any longer.
I'm in the process of tuning out of America - a country I fought a war for. Ef this.
We don't deserve providence. We deserve lamentation and hardship, and we're going to get it. We'll have nobody to blame but ourselves.
Go to CSPAN, watch what’s going on “live”
Who else did Waxman give concessions to? Did he let industries with union workers get off scott free - they don’t have to abide by this cap and trade nonsense?
That 58% share of all energy sources in America, if no longer available, would result in mass unemployment not seen in this country since the Depression.
Doing it now as airconditioning season begins would probably give us just the conditions to get the Democrats to resign.
You shouldn’t hold your breath but the GOP is trying.
Not that I care to watch the clown-show known as the U.S. Congress (I would literally become ill), but if I did want news on it, the live CSPAN feed seems the only place to get it.
You see, while one of the most infamous and life altering bills is being debated, all of the news channels are going wall-to-wall over a dead pedarest, washed-up pop star.
As expected, Fox News is once again proving they are a tabloid disgrace.
Can they show this documentary on the House floor first?
Its one thing to gripe and complain about these things and disagree with it, but its quite *another* to convince your friends and neighbors and relatives and coworkers...
THEREFORE..., its also absolutely necessary for people to know the information in the following documentary. If there were simply *one* video that you could see and/or show people you know... this would be the *one*...
The following is an *excellent* video documentary on the so-called Global Warming I would recommend it to all FReepers. Its a very well-made documentary.
The Great Global Warming Swindle
If you want to download it, via a BitTorrent site (using a BitTorrent client), you can get it at the following link.
[this is a high-quality copy, of about a gigabyte in size...]
Its worth seeing and having for relatives, friends, neighbors and coworkers to see.
Also, see it online here...
[this one is considerably lower quality, is a flash video and viewable online, of course...]
Buy it here...
[this one would be the very highest quality version, on a DVD disk, of several gigabytes in size...]
Also, in split parts on YouTube...
The Great Global Warming Swindle (Part 1 of 8)
The Great Global Warming Swindle (Part 2 of 8)
The Great Global Warming Swindle (Part 3 of 8)
The Great Global Warming Swindle (Part 4 of 8)
The Great Global Warming Swindle (Part 5 of 8)
The Great Global Warming Swindle (Part 6 of 8)
The Great Global Warming Swindle (Part 7 of 8)
The Great Global Warming Swindle (Part 8 of 8)
“Far less cumbersome and more understandable the United Mine Workers and all independent miners should simply walk off the job and shut down coal mining until Congress comes to its senses.”
Some reason your comment brought this headline to mind.
Cleric: some in Iran unrest ‘worthy of execution’
What would Obama do?
I’m watching the debate live. The Democrats are lying through their teeth. They are saying that gasoline will be cheaper and that coal will be used more. They are just lying.
Did you know your typical coal miner is one of America's most heavily armed civilians. We don't have enough troops and cops to force them back to work ~ and now that coal mining is so heavily mechanized, you have to know what you're doing ~ can't just go in there with a pick and shovel.
Here's the way I see it ~ if the House passes the Cap & Tax bill you'll start hearing rumbles of "coal strike". If the Senate passes it, you'll see a "coal strike".
Obama will attempt to use Taft Hartley to send the miners back to work, but picket lines formed by non-public employee union members will be thrown up and the UAW will ot cross the lines.
So why will the union guys strike? Turns out industry and commerce in this country depend on electricity, and there's simply not enough electricity without coal.
I think a couple of months taste of this in a long, hot, humid summer would be enough to bring about the social change we need.
While we are imagining futures, How’s this? Obama asks his union thugs to take one for the messiah and tell their unemployed UAW workers to go to the mines.
Obama’s “union thugs” are mostly office workers and school teachers, and they’re going to tell coal miners to do what?
This is roughly what is happening now between cap and trade, take over of banks and financial institutions, and take over of the healthcare industry.
In other words, if an openly Marxist president were elected in November 2008, we could not tell the difference from the hopey-dopey-changey crap some 220 days into King Barry's eight year reign.
Really? All I hear is RINO compromises, like getting a cigarette just prior to lining up for the firing squad. Please enlighten me on any progress by the Rs to defeat this pile of dung.
I hear them talking about how they are voting for this to prevent the EPA from regulating CO2 emissions!
“while one of the most infamous and life altering bills is being debated, all of the news channels are going wall-to-wall over a dead pedarest, washed-up pop star....”
It makes one wonder if the liberal left had ole Michael J waxed just for this reason!!!!
I know for one Randy Forbes has been working hard against it and I will guarantee nearly all the GOP will vote against this. They are also arguing against the bill as I write this. They are doing what they can given that they do not have a majority in the house. It isn’t in their hands. We have to convince Democrats in Red districts. The GOP is not the problem on this issue.
My question, I heard Dingles talking (& a couple Dems as well) on House Floor that we have to pass HR5424 & if we don’t we will be in worse shape because the EPA rules will hit hard, etc.
My question (& it is not rhetorical), since when does the EPA wield more authority than Congress? Don’t they set the limits to which EPA can enforce guidelines?
Is EPA more powerful than Congress? If so, should it be?
Hell no it shouldn’t be but the EPA has consistently overstepped its bounds. Legislators do not craft the final environmental regulations.
The Senate will most likely pass the bill.....we are so screwed.
Hell no it shouldnt be but the EPA has consistently overstepped its bounds. Legislators do not craft the final environmental regulations.
The EPA should be answering to Congress who should be answering to the citizenry. After all, they are supposed to be serving and representing the citizens aren’t they?!!!!
God help us. National suicide.