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Bush Gets His Way on Energy
Published on Sunday, July 31, 2005 by The Progressive
Bush Gets His Way on Energy
by Matthew Rothschild

For all his troubles with Iraq and with the Karl Rove scandal, Bush still manages to win in Congress.

He prevailed on CAFTA, thanks to 15 wayward Democrats.

He scored a victory for the NRA, which bragged in 2000 that it would be setting up shop in the Oval Office if Bush became President.

And now the House has approved his energy bill, which will dole out billions of dollars to the oil and gas companies.

Not that they need it.

In the first quarter alone, the top four oil giants raked in $97 billion in profits.

Bush and Cheney, executing their agenda down the line, have put in wording that will deregulate the energy field even further.

“The bill’s repeal of the Public Utility Holding Company Act will set the stage for utility mergers that could very well destabilize an industry that for the past 70 years has brought us the world’s most reliable electricity grid,” said Joan Claybrook, president of Public Citizen. “Under this legislation, banks, oil companies, and even foreign countries could purchase electric utilities, further removing them from local control and state oversight.”

Claybrook added that the bill will “exempt oil and gas companies from important environmental protection laws” and “limit the ability of states and local communities to have adequate say in how proposed liquefied natural gas facilities are built.”

The biggest outrage of the energy bill is that it won’t make us any more energy independent any time soon, if at all.

There is hardly anything in it about conservation or about solar or wind power. But the dangerous nuclear power industry gets “cradle-to-grave subsidies,” as Claybrook put it.

Nor is there any requirement that the automakers increase the miles per gallon that our vehicles get on the highway. Raising this requirement is the best way to reduce U.S. energy consumption.

Republicans actually voted down an amendment on that one a few months ago.

Instead, they added language that will actually make it more difficult in the future for the government to raise that standard.

Bush’s EPA helped with this sleight of hand by delaying the release of its annual report on the fuel economy of the U.S. fleet.

That report, which was leaked to The New York Times, shows that “loopholes in American fuel economy regulations have allowed automakers to produce cars and trucks that are significantly less fuel-efficient, on average, than they were in the late 1980s,” according to the Times.

But Bush likes going in reverse.

© 2005 The Progressive


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