Energy bill OKd in raucous vote / GOP measure scrapes by after hard lobbying on House floor
Washington — The House of Representatives descended into bedlam Friday as Republican leaders kept a five-minute vote open for more than 40 minutes — and arm-twisted two of their members to switch their votes — to pass a new energy bill.
The bill, which would offer incentives for oil companies to build new refineries, sparked angry accusations by Democrats that GOP leaders were abusing House rules to squeeze through the controversial measure.
The vote was tied at 211-211 when Republican leaders convinced Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, R-Md., to switch his vote to “yes” 44 minutes after he had voted “no.” His spokeswoman declined to comment on why he changed his position (although I believe he was most likely strongarmed and caved in)
The energy bill that passed the House of Representatives by a two-vote margin after a controversial extended vote would:
Streamline government permits for refineries
Allow refineries to commit environmental hazards unchecked
Outlaw price-gouging and give federal regulators the authority to impose fines of as much as $11,000 per violation.
Probably only applies to mom and pop shops who can afford to compete anyway
In a Suburban
Open federal lands including closed military bases for refinery construction
Give cash rich oil companies taxpayer land for about a buck an acre. Also, closed military bases usually reside in undesirable areas where the populas cannot affort legal costs to prevent gas lines running through their living room
Limit the number of gasoline blends refiners have to produce from 17 to six, eliminating many blends designed to reduce air pollution
Eliminate those absurd barriers and costs of protecting the air, and roll back to pre-1940 environmental standards
Allow a city or region to petition for more time to meet Clean Air Act standards if it can show the pollution comes from another area
Since we have a jet steam encompassing the globe, I guess we can just say all the polution comes from China.