The NAT GAS Act (H.R.1380) lost another supporter yesterday, bringing the total number of defections to 14. With good conservatives pulling off the bill, it's worth exploring who actually supports the NAT GAS Act?
You may be surprised to learn that nearly 1 in 10 supporters of the NAT GAS Act are also supporters of H.R.1084, the FRAC Act. The legislation would place significant regulatory hurdles on hydraulic fracturing, a well-established technology that has been crucial to the natural gas boom.
Reps. Kathy Castor (D-FL), Emanuel Cleaver (D-MO), Gerald Connolly (D-VA), Keith Ellison (D-MN), Sam Farr (D-CA), Bob Filner (D-CA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Brian Higgins (D-NY), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Michael Honda (D-CA), Daniel Lipinski (D-IL), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Nick Rahall (D-WV), Jos%C3%A9 Serrano (D-NY), Adam Smith (D-WA), Paul Tonko (D-NY), and Nydia Velazquez (D-NY), and Del. Eleanor Norton (D-DC).
Why would these Members of Congress want to both subsidize natural gas vehicles while making their fuel more expensive? After all, the allure of natural gas vehicles is the abundant supply of low cost of fuel.
They will claim the FRAC Act is a matter of public health and safety, but in reality, the legislation is a solution in search of a problem. Last month, President Obama's EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson admitted that she was "not aware of any proven case where the fracking process itself has affected water."
Only in Washington...
Update (March 13, 2012): 12 Senators are on the Senate-version of the FRAC Act (S.587), including Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), who is a primary sponsor of the Senate-version of the NAT GAS Act (S.1863).