We recently announced our key vote (here) against the Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act of 2013 (S. 761) introduced by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) 2% and Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH) 28%. Thursday during debate on the Senate floor, these two senators made remarks in favor of their legislation.
Sen. Portman said, “this is not about ‘Washington knows best.”
We beg to differ with the Senators. In our key vote we explained:
Like most government-initiated efficiency programs, this one is fatally flawed because it is based on the idea that businesses and families will act irrationally unless the government intervenes. This inappropriate intervention comes in the form of voluntary federal mandates and taxpayer funded subsidies. As Heritage notes, only the free-market has been proven to decrease costs and increase efficiency in energy production.
We all have to eat and use various forms of energy to survive and live well in America. So should the quotas and rules and regulations handed down from Washington make it harder for us to do so? No! But that’s what’s happening.
Did you know the law currently dictates to Americans that there must be 15 billion gallons (and no more) of corn-based ethanol and another 21 billion gallons of non-corn biofuels in the nation’s fuel supply by 2022?
If that sounds absurd to you, it’s because it is.
Conservatives certainly don’t want Americans to have to pay more for food and energy. In order to decrease costs, Heritage’s Nicolas Loris suggests that Congress should completely end the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS).
President Obama’s Department of Energy (DOE) likes to gamble with taxpayer money on politically favored green energy companies the private sector is too wise to touch. The Washington Free Beacon has identified yet another instance of the DOE wasting taxpayer money on a failed green energy company, which may now have to declare bankruptcy:
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has suspended stimulus payments to a major green energy company after the company said it is having trouble finding financing and may have to declare bankruptcy.
ECOtality admitted that possibility in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) last week. Lackluster sales caused revenues to fall significantly short of its expenses, the company said.
President Obama’s recent speech on “climate change” indicated that there’s a lot he wants to do to prevent global warming. But what is he willing to sacrifice to do so? And – perhaps the more important question – will he get his desired results? Remember, in life, there are tradeoffs. A prudent politician should know this. Heritage explains that his plan will harm American families.
In typical Obama fashion, the President tugged on our heartstrings as he started his speech with grandiose words about the Earth’s beauty. He set the stage for us by presenting what is at stake, “beautiful; breathtaking; a glowing marble of blue oceans, and green forests, and brown mountains brushed with white clouds.”
All that beauty is what he’s set out to save, apparently. Next came the threat.
Mr. Obama proceeded to up the intensity, relaying what scientists began to warn us in the 1950’s – you might want to hold your breath for this one – if carbon dioxide reaches a certain level, rising levels might someday “disrupt the fragile balance that makes our planet so hospitable.” “[T]he levels of carbon pollution in our atmosphere have increased dramatically,” he added.
Today, the House of Representatives will consider the Northern Route Approval Act (H.R.3), sponsored by Rep. Lee Terry (R-NE). The Obama administration has been holding up a decision on the Keystone XL Pipeline for an extended period of time, and it is about time the fundamentally sound pipeline should be part of American’s energy equation. It should be approved.
Yet, according to the White House budget office, the president has already threatened to veto the bill simply “because H.R. 3 seeks to circumvent and proven processes for determining whether cross-border pipelines are in the national interest by removing the Presidential Permitting requirement for they Keystone XL pipeline project.” In other words, the president is more concerned with maintaining control than in truly doing what is in the national best interest.
As Heritage’s Nick Loris has noted, Rep. Terry’s bill “does what The Heritage Foundation has been saying since the project turned from a decision about a pipeline to a political football. Since the State Department’s first environmental review concluded the Keystone XL pipeline would have no significant environmental impact, it would be a good idea for Congress to authorize the pipeline application submitted by TransCanada pursuant to its authority to regulate commerce with other nations.”
Furthermore, it isn’t as if this issue is only being trumpeted by House and Senate Republicans. Previous House bills have passed with the support of 69 Democrats. In March, during the Senate Budget Resolution vote-a-rama, a non-binding budget amendment vote approved the project’s construction by a 62-37 margin that included 15 Democrats.