STOP HR 910: Energy Tax Prevention Act

UPDATE:

  • Apr 7, 2011: This bill passed in the House of Representatives by roll call vote. 255 aye to 172 nay – 5 absent
  • Apr 8, 2011: Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works.  (Keep in mind that debate may be taking place on a companion bill in the Senate, rather than on this particular bill.)
  • STAY TUNED TO FIND OUT IF THIS BILL IS STOPPED.
  • Also,  << CLICK HERE >> To track progress.

H.R. 910, the “Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011,” has been dubbed the “Asthma Aggravation Act of 2011” by Pete Altman, a Climate Campaign Director at Natural Resource Defense Council. This is an appropriate re-naming of the bill as it aims to reverse aggressive emission regulations set by the landmark Clean Air Act AB 32 and enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

According to the NRDC, Chairman and major proponent of H.R. 910, Fred Upton claims his bill is a “first step” to stopping rising gas prices (see his letter to his colleagues on the Hill). Counter to this argument, Altman of the NRDC brought to light a study done by Politifact (the Pulitzer Prize-winning fact-checker of political claims) who, after taking a closer look at Fred Upton’s bill, pronounced the claim of gas price increases “FALSE”.

 

To add further insult to injury, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, Representative Fred Upton, Republican from Michigan and sponsor of the House committee proposal to gut EPA ruling on greenhouse gas received $192,600 from electric utility PACs and individuals with  industry connections; $24,300 from Ford Motors, and $94,000 from oil and gas industries in his 2009-2010 campaign cycle.

Roland Hwang of the NRDC points out the fundamental pain H.R. 910 will inflict on consumers and the environment.  He shares that it will increase driver fuel bills by blocking aggressive EPA pollution standards for new cars for 2017 and beyond. Hwang goes on to explain that although the Department of Transportation (DOT) could still set fuel economy standards, EPA’s standards are more effective than the DOT’s fuel economy standards at saving money, oil and pollution.

Hwang exemplifies the points raised by Rep. Markey at last week’s subcommittee hearing on H.R. 910, which reaffirm that the EPA’s broader pollution authority gives it the opportunity to reduce oil use from planes, trains, ships, off-road equipment and industrial uses which compromises 45% of our oil use. The Department of Transportation, on the other hand, has no authority to set fuel economy standards for these sources.

The bottom line is that if H.R. 910 is passed, the Department of Transportation will become the primary body designating emission standards which are behind the standards of EPA and behind where they need to be in order to successfully reverse climate change as well as reduce our dependency on oil, a limited resource.

As Pete Altman of the NRDC points out for our consideration, many environmental groups like NRDC oppose the measure, but so do a lot of other non-environmental groups including health, small business, consumer, and Veterans.

Click here for samples and links to formal letters signed by many of these groups of what they are saying:

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/paltman/diverse_opposition_to_hr_910.html

Altman’s final thought reflects the necessity for stopping H.R. 910 in its tracks, “Our pocketbooks, economy and our national security should not be held hostage to global prices, supply shocks and political events largely beyond our control.  Cutting our oil dependency through efficiency and clean fuels is the only real solution”.

Sources:

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/rhwang/the_verdict_is_in_hr_910_is_ba.html

http://switchboard.nrdc.org/blogs/paltman/diverse_opposition_to_hr_910.html

http://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/summary.php?cid=N00005582

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