This has to be fraud, right?
In exchange for votes to pass a controversial global warming package, Democratic leaders are offering some lawmakers generous emission “allowances” to protect their districts from the economic pain of pollution restrictions.
Rep. Gene Green, D-Texas, represents a district with several oil refineries, a huge source of greenhouse gas emissions. He also serves on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which must approve the global warming plan backed by President Barack Obama.
Green says Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., who heads the panel, is trying to entice him into voting for the bill by giving some refineries favorable treatment in the administration’s “cap and trade” system, which is expected to generate hundreds of billions of dollars over the coming years. Under the plan, companies would pay for the right to emit carbon dioxide, but Green and other lawmakers are angling to get a free pass for refineries in their districts.
“We’ve been talking,” Green said, referring to a meeting he had with Waxman on Tuesday night. “To put together a bill that passes, they have to get our votes, and I’m not going to vote for a bill without refinery allowances.”
Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the top Republican on the energy panel, said Waxman and others are also dangling allowances for steel and coal-fired power plants to give political cover to Democrats whose districts rely on these companies.
Democrats so far have been unable to get enough support from their own members to pass the bill out of a small global warming subcommittee because most Republicans and many Democrats say the plan will raise energy rates, destroy jobs and increase prices on manufactured goods.
Since when do we have federal laws for some parts of the country and not others?
But never mind that. The bill will "raise energy rates, destroy jobs and increase prices on manufactured goods." Of course it will. That's why even some staunch Democrats won't vote for it. But how would you feel about your representative voting that kind of burden on the rest of the country, even if he had cut a deal to exempt your particular power plant?