Third Party & Independents Archives

November 19, 2003

The Energy Bill

Sen. Pete Domenici (R) of New Mexico, the chief spokesperson for the current Energy Bill which has come out of conference committee before the Senate for ratification states again and again that if we don’t pass this bill now, there will be no energy bill for as many as 10 years. He propounded a list of energy companies that went on and on that would benefit from the bill.

Sen. John McCain (R) and a host of Democrats have flat out stated this bill hurts the American public. It will bloat the deficit without generating jobs in return. It will not address the contract manipulations enacted by Enron, and in fact, permits them to continue. The Energy bill will not enhance energy security, it destroys many environmental protections and gives billions of tax payer dollars to energy companies and corn farmers and does nothing to lower the cost of energy for the American public.

And most egregious is the fact that fuel producers have knowingly produced MTBE, a chemical known to cause cancer among a host of other maladies. It has now been surveyed that MTBE has poisoned ten's of thousands Americans. Leaking fuel tanks send the MTBE chemical into the ground and surface drinking water sources. This Energy Bill will provide safe harbor to those energy companies insuring they cannot be sued for illnesses incurred from the MTBE's, nor for any clean up of water sources that have been contaminated and which in turn are destroying property values for whole communities.

Finally, and in the long run, the most devastating consequence of this Energy Bill is the fact that it provides no focused, concerted, concrete, coordinated plan to enhance, insure, and secure American energy nor does it go anywhere in the future to reduce America's dependency upon foreign oil.

This bill began with the proposal that the President wanted an energy bill passed this year. The only way that was going to happen was to stuff the bill with pork for energy lobbyists, grant non-energy pork to key Congress persons whose votes would be needed. And to get it out for a vote, at all costs they had to keep the details of the bill from the public and congressional view by Democrats and even Republicans. For if the details were known earlier, they would have delayed the progress passing the bill out of conference, since objections designed to represent what would be best for the American people would have been raised. The bill contains some very good components like ethanol production. But, they are so outweighed in cost and benefit by the negatives in this bill, that newspaper editorials across the country are stating America will be better off without an energy plan than it will be to adopt this one.

I have watched this bill debated in the Senate for hours now, and it is obvious that the system that is supposed to lead America to greatness, the system that is supposed to protect the American public, the system that is supposed to design programs for the benefit of the economy, the voters, and the environment is completely broken. This bill demonstrates that the only factor guiding legislation today is greed by lobbyist business interests and power hungry Congresspersons who place election contributions above the needs and interests of the American people and their country.

Lastly, America is poised to become a world leader in cheap, renewable, and environmentally friendly fuel technology. But, that opportunity is squandered by this bill by granting the billions and billions of dollars that should be put into the development of that technology and create jobs and make the U.S. the main exporter of this technology, into subsidization of already profitable corporate farmers and petroleum energy companies, and even new nuclear power plants to generate ever more radioactive waste that we already can't afford to store or dispose of. If this bill passes in the Senate, it will be a sad day in history indeed, only outweighed by 9/11.

Posted by David R. Remer at November 19, 2003 04:07 PM
Comment #3972

David, it is like I stated in an earlier posting; we lack visionaries in our government, and the powers to be seem to be mirroring the cancerous greed and immoral mannerisms that have infected the Captains and stewards of American business. The very fact that the Republicans shut the Democrats out of most of the negotiations—in the spirit of bi-partisan cooperation Bush swept into office promising to foster—should give most American pause. “We the People” were not represented

What the Republican Party is doing to this nation while we bask in the glow of tax rebate checks, and shopping sprees for good made mostly in China sickens me. I want to shout to every American I to “WAKE UP, THEY ARE RUINING OUR NATION.”

The Energy Plan, in a word SUCKS, and does very little to advance the cause of American energy independence, now or in the foreseeable future. The more this insanity continues the more respect I have for John McCain, the lone Republican voice of sanity in a Party and system gone horribly, dizzyingly, incredibly, wrong!

Posted by: V. Edward Martin at November 20, 2003 11:25 AM
Comment #3973

Interesting, your comments about McCain. I have respected him as an American Public Servant for years now, since the McCain Feingold bill was first drafted. Over the years, my respect for him has just continued to grow. I am a liberal on social and international issues and semi-conservative on economic policy. I have disagreed with McCain on many issues, but, I have never, ever, doubted that he speaks for what he truly believes will benefit America, and nothing else.

Persons of his stripe are sorely needed on both sides of the aisle as well as in third parties.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 20, 2003 01:04 PM
Comment #3980

This typifies most recent Republican policies (a long list indeed…)in that it is so breathtakingly short-sighted. It will satisfy a select band of powerful interests while leaving the rest of us hung out to dry. I really cannot understand their mindset, are they blissfully ignorant or ethically bankrupt?

Posted by: Bob Hope at November 21, 2003 09:58 AM
Comment #3984

UPDATE: A vote today failed to end the filibuster and so the bill is dead for the time being. Frist is vowing to ressurect and pass it however. Hopefully, that means at the very least, the pork and non-energy splurge items that the Republicans who opposed the bill (6 of them as I recall) objected to will be removed from the new version.

If that is all they do, it may pass, and still be an assault upon the American tax payers and voters and the next generation of Americans who will depend upon energy for their lives and quality of life.

Posted by: David R. Remer at November 21, 2003 05:54 PM