Sunday, August 05, 2007

Energy Bills - Walberg Votes No

The House of Representatives recently addressed two related pieces of legislation. I'll cover them in one post.

First up is HR 3221, the "New Direction for Energy Independence, National Security, and Consumer Protection Act." It wins the prize for having the longest title I've seen lately, but it looks like it does a lot of good things. It's self-description:
Moving the United States toward greater energy independence and security, developing innovative new technologies, reducing carbon emissions, creating green jobs, protecting consumers, increasing clean renewable energy production, and modernizing our energy infrastructure.
I'll admit, I haven't read the bill, but you can feel free to do so. It's 700 pages long. From a Washington Post editorial:
We've lauded the good things in this bill before. The investments in renewable energy, the incentives for manufacturers to make and for taxpayers to purchase appliances and vehicles that "push the boundaries of efficiency," and the federal government leading by example in the drive to cut carbon emissions are all good. What's especially good are the funds made available to demonstrate the commercial viability of carbon capture and sequestration. The United States sits atop the world's largest reserves of coal, a chief source of greenhouse gases. Finding a way to pump and lock the heat-trapping gas underground would not only be an enormous environmental breakthrough, but it would also be a technological advance that could then be sold overseas, particularly to China, which is overtaking the United States as the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide.
The Post notes, however, that fuel efficiency standards are not increased, calling that omission the bill's major flaw.

HR 3221 passed, 241 to 172.

Now, will the self-proclaimed environmentalist Congressman Tim Walberg support this bill?

Well, no. Tim Walberg voted No. Michigan Republicans Vern Ehlers, Joe Knollenberg, and Fred Upton joined a united Democratic delegation in support of the bill.

With that bill passed, the House then addressed HR 2776, the "Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007." Having passed the first bill, this one will provide the funding.

Think Tim Walberg will support this one?
Democrats moved forward with their energy tax bill (HR 2776) despite concerns from oil-state Democrats upset about treatment of the oil and gas industry. The $16.1 billion package would raise taxes on the oil and gas industry and redirect the proceeds to tax breaks for renewable energy sources; no amendments to the tax portion will be considered Saturday.
The bill passed, 221 to 189.

Tim Walberg predictably voted No. All of Michigan's Republicans opposed the second bill, while all Michigan Democrats supported it (minus Congresswoman Kilpatrick, who did not vote).

Meanwhile, as is so often the case, the White House has threatened to veto the legislation.

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Great higher taxes on domestic production. Now I'm not an economist, but when you raise taxes on the inputs, you raise the price on the output=higher taxes on gasoline.

Thanks Pelosi! Just what I need!
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The bill is bewildering to the average person. 700 pages is a lot to digest for sure.

I read some of the bill yesterday and watched the floor debate this weekend for hours. It seems like there are provisions that are pretty decent, and some that expand the power of the executive branch even more 9not so good in my opinion).

Sorry your Congressman sucks, I pretty much know the feeling.
Where are the higher taxes on domestic production? I didnt see that in the bill. I also did not read the whole thing either (so it could be there). Can you give a quote as to where the "tax raise" is?

If you are talking about the cancellation of the tax break for big oil, I agree with it. They are making record profits while we are bogged down in Iraq over oil and the planet is warming maybe due to oil production. That sounds like a reasonable "Tax raise" to me.
Hey steve, just to inform you, any time a tax loophole is closed, our Congressman calls that a tax increase.

Any time a tax break is allowed to sunset, our Congressman calls it a tax increase.

He has a really funny way of talking (thats what some of us folks say when we are trying to be nice and not say someone is lying.)

Anyway, it is no suprise Walberg voted no, the Club for Growth demanded it.
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