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White House Continues to Exploit Oil Spill Tragedy to Push Cap-and-Trade National Energy Tax
Hastings on CLEAR Act: “House Democrats should ask themselves if they are about to vote for a bill that is simply a setup to enact a cap-and-trade tax into law.”

WASHINGTON, D.C., July 29, 2010 - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs kept the dream of a cap-and-trade national energy tax alive this week by confirming that it’s still not too late to exploit the tragedy in the Gulf in order to push through this job-killing measure. On Tuesday during his press briefing, Gibbs said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility that climate measures could be attached the oil spill bills being considered by Congress. Conveniently for the White House and the cap-and-trade, anti-job lobby, House Democrat leaders are pushing to pass an “oil spill” bill, H.R. 3534 the CLEAR Act, on Friday before leaving town for August.

Gibbs said on Tuesday:

I don’t think the bill is essentially dead for the year,” Gibbs said. “The House passed a very strong and very comprehensive energy bill last year. The Senate is going to take up a version that is more scaled down, but still has some important aspects, particularly dealing with how we deal with oil spills in the future.”

He added: “I don’t think that closes the door. Once a bill passes each house, it doesn’t close the door to having some sort of conference.”

Keeping in line with the mantra of “never let a good crisis go to waste,” the Obama Administration has made no secret of its plan to use the oil spill to try and pass a national energy tax.

  • In a June 15, 2010 Oval Office speech on the oil spill, President Obama used it as an opportunity to promote comprehensive climate change legislation. “When I was a candidate for this office, I laid out a set of principles that would move our country towards energy independence. Last year, the House of Representatives acted on these principles by passing a strong and comprehensive energy and climate bill - a bill that finally makes clean energy the profitable kind of energy for America’s businesses.”
  • In an email on June 29, 2010, White House Assistant to the President for Energy and Climate Change Carol Browner wrote, “The disaster in the Gulf is a wake-up call that we need a new strategy for a clean energy future, including passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation.”

With the Administration adamant about not letting cap-and-trade die, House Democrats should ask themselves if they are about to vote for a bill that is simply a setup to enact a cap-and-trade tax into law. The CLEAR Act is full of unrelated energy provisions, and there’s no assurance it won’t be used as a vehicle to push through cap-and-trade after Election Day,” said House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Doc Hastings.The Gulf oil spill crisis shouldn’t be used as leverage to push a cap-and-trade national energy tax that will destroy jobs and send energy prices skyrocketing. Piling on this job-killing tax will only make the situation in the Gulf worse. The Obama Administration must stop putting its own political agenda ahead of struggling families and business in the Gulf Coast.

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Contact: Jill Strait or Spencer Pederson (202) 226-2311

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