Waxman-Markey Markup: Day 2

by William Yeatman on May 19, 2009

in Politics

The House Energy and Commerce Committee just began (at 10:00 AM eastern) the second day of marathon markups for the 2009 American Clean Energy and Security Act. In a “markup,” the Committee reads through the bill (or at least the titles and sections) and members have the opportunity to offer amendments.

The American Clean Energy and Security Act is an awful piece of legislation designed to tax energy. In order to win over Democrats on the Ways and Means Committee, Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills), a co-author of the bill, had to buy them off by promising to redistribute the proceeds of the energy tax-which the Obama administration says will cost as much as $2 trillion through 2020-to industries in their districts.

The only highlight from day one was the opening statement of Rep. John Barrow (D-Georgia), which seemed to indicate that he will oppose this expensive energy bill. He becomes the first Democrat on the Committee to do so. Hopefully, he is not the last. Reps. Eliot Engel (D-New York) and Charlie Melancon (D-Lousiana) seemed to hedge. They are likely holding out for more booty from Waxman.

Today, the Republicans on the Committee, led by Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas), plan on introducing 450 amendments to the bill. Democrats will offer far fewer amendments.

As I write, Rep. John Dingell (D-Michigan) is proposing an amendment to create a clean energy bank, despite the fact that the Department of Energy already administers a $40 billion clean energy bank. That bank, however, isn’t good enough for Dingell because it doesn’t transfer enough taxpayer money to auto companies in his district.

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