Friday :: Apr 22, 2005

House Democrats Help DeLay Pass Energy Bill And MTBE Corporate Welfare Yesterday


by Steve

As you know by now, the House GOP leadership under the whip of an allegedly damaged Tom DeLay rammed through the deeply flawed Bush energy bill yesterday by a 249-183 vote. The House GOP leadership made sure that the bill did little to reduce demand and to fund alternative energy development, even though GOP national security conservatives have now identified both as keys to our anti-terrorism and national security policies. But DeLay and Company made sure that the bill contained even more oil company tax breaks that the Bush/Cheney White House wanted, and it also included the provision to open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil exploration.

Aside from the flaws in this worthless piece of corporate welfare, there were several disgusting elements to what transpired yesterday. First, these are the 17 Democrats who voted yesterday for the energy bill, and who also voted for the bankruptcy bill and estate tax giveaway. And no, not all of them are from oil states, so it calls into question why these 17 would willingly vote against consumers and for the credit card industry with the bankruptcy bill; vote for the wealthy and against tax fairness with the estate tax repeal; and then vote against local governments and taxpayers and for oil companies and terrorists with the Bush energy bill.

Sanford Bishop, Georgia
Dan Boren, Oklahoma
Leonard Boswell, Iowa
Rick Boucher, Virginia
Bud Cramer, Alabama
Henry Cuellar, Texas
Lincoln Davis, Tennessee
Chet Edwards, Texas
Bart Gordon, Tennessee
Ruben Hinojosa, Texas
William Jefferson, Louisiana
Jim Matheson, Utah
Charlie Melancon, Louisiana
Collin Peterson, Minnesota
David Scott, Georgia
Ike Skelton, Missouri
Albert Russell Wynn, Maryland

Please note that there were 22 brave House Republicans who voted against DeLay on this bill yesterday. Yet 17 of our own made DeLay’s job easy.

But perhaps the most sickening part of this vote yesterday is a provision in the bill demanded by DeLay that shields the corporate makers of gasoline additive MTBE from liability lawsuits for damaging community groundwater supplies, thereby transferring the multi-billion dollar costs of these cleanups from the oil and chemical companies onto the backs of local communities and their taxpayers. MTBE has already been shown to cause defects in children and the unborn, and yet Tom DeLay and the House GOP leadership just granted a large piece of corporate welfare to the oil and gas companies while saddling local governments and their taxpayers with the tab.

And even worse yet, Democratic Representative Lois Capps of California was able to get an amendment considered that would have removed the MTBE corporate welfare giveaway removed from the bill. But the amendment lost by only six votes (213-219), and there were 14 Democrats who voted with DeLay against taxpayers and local communities. If these 14 Democrats had stuck with Nancy Pelosi on just this one amendment and had voted with local taxpayers and against oil and chemical companies, this horrendous amendment would have passed and the MTBE product liability shield would have been deleted.

These 14 Democrats are:

Neil Abercrombie, Hawaii
Dan Boren, Oklahoma
Bud Cramer, Alabama
Henry Cuellar, Texas
Danny K. Davis, Illinois
Chet Edwards, Texas
Charlie Gonzalez, Texas
Al Green, Texas
Gene Green, Texas (also on the House Ethics Committee)
Ruben Hinojosa, Texas
Sheila Jackson-Lee, Texas (yes, you read that correctly)
Charlie Melancon, Louisiana
Solomon Ortiz, Texas
Silvestre Reyes, Texas

I guess none of these Democrats, some who come from poor districts, have leaking gas stations in their districts that have contaminated local groundwater supplies, and none of them have public health concerns stemming from MTBE. These 14 Democrats will have to explain their votes to their local taxpayers. The truth is that Tom DeLay and the big oil and chemical companies control the Democrats in the Texas delegation, not their constituents or Nancy Pelosi.

And since when did Sheila Jackson-Lee throw away public health concerns to please big chemical companies? Why do any of these folks have D's next to their names?

Steve :: 8:17 AM :: Comments (32) :: Digg It!