“No Man’s life liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session”.

- attributed to NY State Judge Gideon Tucker

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

House Republicans Run Scared On Energy Bill

Want to know why independent conservatives like me hate so many GOP legislators almost as much as we hate Democrats?

Consider this recent Wall Street Journal article. In it were these passages,

"Senate Republicans are more than eager to debate and oppose a cap and tax bill going into the August recess. It polls badly when voters learn it is a vast new energy tax that will hit every sector of the economy. With unemployment at 9.5%, the public will settle for normal jobs in lieu of speculative "green jobs."

The danger is that some GOP Senators may relent on a "compromise" bill that includes the cap and tax Plan B of RPS. Democrats know an RPS might be palatable if it were expanded to include nuclear power, a Republican fixation. Democrats will also portray any bill as a response to the Gulf oil spill, and the press corps will ignore the boring details.

The potential for GOP panic was on display last week, as Henry Waxman's House energy committee unanimously passed the Blowout Prevention Act of 2010. Every committee Republican voted for industry tax increases and a federal takeover of the oil-and-gas permitting process for all drilling, even on state or private property. Never mind that the country's main source of carbon emissions—coal-fired power plants—had nothing to do with the spill.

Democrats are determined to pass something before their clock runs out in November, or even after the election in a lame duck session as Senator John Kerry told Politico.com yesterday.

The GOP can serve the public and itself by just saying no. Opposing any kind of new tax on energy won't cost Republicans a single seat in Congress, but letting Democrats win another huge liberal victory would demoralize potential GOP voters. The best Republican strategy now is to wait for this madhouse to collapse of its own destructive weight."

I wish that every Republican House member on that energy committee who stupidly voted for "industry tax increases and a federal takeover of the oil-and-gas permitting process for all drilling, even on state or private property" could be defeated and still hand the House to the Republicans this fall.

The editorial's conclusions are correct. These Republicans ran like scared rabbits, forsaking any thought that they could easily explain their opposition to this bad legislation.

With Republicans behaving like this, it's less clear why anyone should believe bad federal government behavior will cease just because the GOP wins control of either Congressional chamber.

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