A week ago, I poked fun at Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Beverly Hills) for acting the fool during a House Energy and Commerce Committee hearing on Republican legislation that would speed the permitting process for the Keystone XL Pipeline. Yet I also noted,
“While I disagree with everything he does, I nonetheless esteem Rep. Waxman as a master tactician. More than once, I’ve wished that the other party had someone as cunning as the Congressman from Beverly Hills.”
Last week, Rep. Waxman was off his game; this week, I’m sad to say, he has returned to form. Energy and Environment News (subscription required) reported this morning that Rep. Waxman and Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) yesterday fired off a letter to Committee Republicans, demanding the holdup of the “Transparency in Regulatory Analysis of Impacts on the Nation Act” (a.k.a., the TRAIN Act) over some arcane procedural matter. This sort of nitpicky stonewalling is classic Waxman.
The TRAIN Act would mandate an honest assessment of the costs of the Environmental Protection Agency’s suite of anti-energy regulations. Of course, this would expose the EPA’s dishonest cost-accounting. That’s why Reps. Waxman and Rush oppose it.
An issue as complex as a Congressional procedural violation, real or unreal, is easily swept under the rug, so it’s highly unlikely that Rep. Waxman’s letter will engender much, if any, delay. That’s good news, because the TRAIN Act is worthy legislation.