This Week in Washington

by Myron Ebell on October 16, 2011

in Blog

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Perry Releases Energy Plan

Texas Governor Rick Perry on 14th October gave a major speech on energy policy at a steel plant near Pittsburgh.  His campaign also released an energy policy white paper that spells out the details of Perry’s policy commitments.  In short, Perry as President promises to increase oil and gas production quickly and substantially on federal lands and offshore areas; block or repeal all the Obama Administration’s new Clean Air Act regulations, including regulation of greenhouse gas emissions; radically downsize the Environmental Protection Agency and turn local environmental issues over to the States; stop allowing environmental law to be made by settling lawsuits with environmental pressure groups with consent decrees; and eliminate all federal energy mandates and subsidies.  Perry claims that his plan will provide a major boost to economic growth and create 1.2 million new jobs.  Looking over the plan, my guess is that 1.2 million jobs is a lowball figure if his proposals were fully implemented.

This Week in Solyndra

Carol Loennig and Joe Stephens had another story in the Washington Post on 14th October revealing more unseemly aspects of the Solyndra scandal.  They report that David Frend, co-founder of Rockport Capital, was pushing the Solyndra loan to White House Climate Czar Carol Browner in February.  His firm owned 7.5% of the company.  Everyone should be able to beg for taxpayer handouts, but Frend also chaired a panel on renewable energy that advised the Department of Energy during the Obama Administration.

The Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of the House Energy and Commerce Committee held another hearing on the scandal on Friday which looked at the Department of Energy’s decision to subordinate the taxpayer loan to new private investment.  The 2007 law authorizing the loan program at DOE clearly prohibits such subordination.  It turns out that several emails from officials at the Treasury Department and the Office of Management and Budget advised DOE that what they were doing was probably illegal.

House Votes to Suspend Boiler MACT Rule

The House of Representatives voted 275 to 142 on 13th October to suspend implementation of the Boiler MACT (for Maximum Available Control Technology) Rule. The House approved a similar measure to block the Cement MACT Rule last week on a 262-161 vote.

Senate Republicans Introduce Jobs Bill

Senator John McCain (R-Az.) and several other Republicans introduced the Jobs Through Growth Act on 13th October. The bill is a collection of 28 bills that have already been introduced.  There are two titles on cutting federal spending, three on cutting taxes, one on increasing trade, fifteen on regulatory reform, and seven on energy.

One title (previously introduced as S. 482 by Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma) would prohibit the EPA from regulating greenhouse gas emissions.  Senator McCain has been the Senate’s leading advocate for actions to address global warming, but he’s clearly decided that the Clean Air Act is not the way to do it.

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