And the Guerrilla War Begins…
Monday, May 18, 2009 at 1:53 pm
The markup session for the landmark Waxman-Markey climate and energy bill is underway in the House Energy and Commerce Committee (live webcast from C-SPAN). And it’s sure to be one hell of a show.
Ranking member Joe Barton (R-Texas), who promised to wage “sneaky,” “crafty” “guerrilla warfare” on the legislation, just delivered his opening statement. He said of the bill, “We know the cost is significant; we know the environmental benefit is practically nonexistent.”
And so he’s offering a Republican substitute bill, which he said “wouldn’t wreck the economy, would have some economic benefits and wouldn’t do any environmental harm.” If that language seems less than aggressive in combating global climate change, that’s because it is. Says Joe Romm, “You can’t really call it an alternative climate bill, since it doesn’t stop US greenhouse gas emissions from rising and the words “climate change” and “global warming” hardly appear in it at all — except to strip any authority from the EPA to address the problem.”
Barton also pledged to introduce a number of amendments to improve the legislation. In fact, he’s got 450 amendments up his sleeve, and I’ll give you a sense of their general thrust. Numbers 10 to 148 take this form:
- #30: “Suspends the act should more than 1,000 jobs in Indiana be lost due to the implementation of this Act.”
- #31: “Suspends the act should more than 2,000 jobs in Indiana be lost due to the implementation of this Act.”
- #32: “Suspends the act should more than 5,000 jobs in Indiana be lost due to the implementation of this Act.”
- #33: “Suspends the act should more than 10,000 jobs in Indiana be lost due to the implementation of this Act.”
- #34: “Suspends the act should more than 50,000 jobs in Indiana be lost due to the implementation of this Act.”
Swap in the names of 19 other states (no idea why the remaining 30 are excluded), and you get the general idea. You also start to understand Barton’s remark to Politico last week: “This is not going to be one of those gentlemanly, pro forma markups. We’re prepared for it to take weeks or months.”
OK, maybe it won’t be THAT fun to watch. Fortunately, TWI will provide updates and save you the trouble. Stay tuned.
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