July 15, 2010
During a House Natural Resources Committee markup of the CLEAR Act (H.R. 3534), Congressman Jay Inslee (D-WA) admitted to using this bill –which has been promoted as a response to the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – as a vehicle to pass legislation completely unrelated to the Gulf Coast disaster.
When asked at the markup why he was introducing an amendment to attach his Geothermal Production Expansion Act (H.R. 3709) to this bill, he gave the surprisingly candid answer: “This is a really nice train leaving the station and probably the only one during this Congress.”
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Unfortunately, geothermal legislation is just the beginning of what Democrats are hoping to push through by taking advantage of this tragic accident. The Obama Administration has repeatedly admitted to wanting to use this environmental disaster as an excuse to impose a job-killing cap-and-trade national energy tax.
“Democrats are trying to exploit the Gulf oil spill as an opportunity to pass costly, controversial and otherwise doomed legislation,” said Ranking Member Doc Hastings. “Democrats should not use this tragedy to build up a Christmas Tree bill of unrelated new spending, taxes and laws. While Democrats are trying their best to turn this oil spill into a political opportunity, Republicans will continue to focus on the immediate crisis at hand. We need to stop the leak, clean up the oil, hold BP fully accountable and help Gulf Coast communities – not pass devastating national energy tax legislation that will cause further economic devastation. Gulf Coast families deserve far better and far more from Congress than the Democrat strategy of political opportunism.”
Democrats have attached numerous items to the CLEAR Act that are completely unrelated to the Gulf oil spill or deepwater drilling, including:
- $40 billion in new mandatory spending for unrelated programs
- Restrictions on renewable solar and wind energy production on public lands
- Banning fish farm operations
- Harming the future of nuclear power in America by restricting uranium leasing
- New restrictions for onshore energy production
- “Wildlife sustainability” in forests and BLM lands (not the ocean)
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