Wednesday, September 17, 2008

HR 6899, Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act

Earlier today the House passed the Comprehensive American Energy Security and Consumer Protection Act (HR 6899) with a 236-189 (Roll No. 599) Democratic majority. The legislation could open large areas of U.S. coastlines to energy production.

Naturally, Rep. John Shimkus (IL-19) voted against it as did each of these Illinois Republicans who seem to care about nothing except exploitation and destruction of a fragile environment:

  • Peter Roskam (IL-06)
  • Jerry Weller (IL-11)
  • Judy Biggert (IL-13)
  • Tim Johnson (IL-15)
  • Don Manzullo (IL-16)
The other two Republicans: Rep. Mark Kirk (IL-10) and Ray LaHood voted for the legislation. The latter is packing boxes looking at a nice retirement package. The former is pretending to be bi-partisan (Many of his constituents see through his illusion!)

At a glance, HR 6899 provides the following:
  • Ensures that oil companies pay their fair share of royalties on flawed leases granted in 1998 and 1999.
  • Repeals a giveaway in the 2004 international tax bill (H.R. 4520) for the Big Five paying for critical investment in American renewable energy (H.R. 5351).
  • Releases nearly 10 percent of the oil from the government’s stockpile from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) temporarily (H.R. 6578).
  • Cracks down aggressively on the extreme misconduct at the Mineral Management Service, Department of Interior.
  • Extends and expands tax incentives for renewable energy; expands and extends tax incentives for renewable electricity, energy (i.e., solar and wind) and fuel from America’s heartland, as well as for plug-in hybrid cars, and energy efficient homes, buildings, and appliances (H.R. 5351).
  • Creates a Renewable Energy Reserve to invest in clean, renewable energy resources and alternative fuels, promote new energy technologies, develop greater efficiency and improve conservation (H.R.6).
  • Requires utility companies to generate 15 percent of electricity from renewable sources -- such as wind power, biomass, wave, tidal, geothermal and solar -- by 2020 (H.R. 3221).
  • Requires cellulosic biofuels to be produced from a highly diverse array of feedstocks.
  • Strengthens requirements that oil companies produce oil on federal lands leased for drilling during the initial term of their lease. (DRILL Act, H.R. 6515).
  • Mandates annual lease sales in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, which has more oil than the Arctic Wildlife Refuge; requires the Bush Administration to facilitate completion of the oil pipeline infrastructure into the Reserve and the construction of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline, which could create up to 100,000 jobs, while banning export of Alaskan oil outside the U.S. (DRILL Act, H.R. 6515).
  • Includes incentives and financing mechanisms for installing natural gas pumps in service stations and homes; requires service stations owned by Big Oil to install at least one alternative fuel pump (i.e., natural gas, E-85).
  • Advances the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies to come up with a cleaner way to use coal.
  • Allows Utah, Wyoming, and Colorado to opt in to exploration, development, or production of federal oil shale reserves if the state decides to move forward with the leases.
  • Saves consumers approximately $210 billion in energy costs through 2030 by updating energy codes for new buildings (H.R. 3221).
  • Provides incentives to lenders and financial institutions to provide lower interest loans to consumers who build, buy or remodel their homes to improve their energy efficiency(H.R. 6078).
  • Reduces transit fares for commuter rail and buses and expands service so that the average commuter can save up to $8,000 a year riding public transit according to current gas prices.
Areas remaining off-limits to petroleum companies include the eastern Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida and the historic Georges Bank fishery in New England. Also, there are no provisions for the states to receive any royalties. Their additional revenue would come from the employee salaries.

Instead of voting for this legislation, John Shimkus stated the following:
Drill, baby, drill. Here's the Outer Continental Shelf. They want to only to do 20 percent, maybe. They can't even get an agreement on what they want. This whole area should be open for exploration recovery of oil and gas in our country to help decrease our reliance on imported crude oil and lower prices, and they don't have a clue. They'll continue to say no to oil and gas exploration.

They won't even address coal as part of the solution. Coal is the greatest resource we have in this country.

I want to drill, baby, drill, and I want to mine coal.
This is good compromising legislation. He received a provision for coal in addition to the drilling for oil and gas. He is still not satisfied. Maybe when the Earth is a barren wasteland he will be. Voters have to remove him from office leaving him thoroughly unsatisfied first.

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