House Republicans blast Democrats on energy

US House Republicans charged that the "bold action" on energy that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promised earlier this year has become "no energy, no action, and all embarrassment."

Nick Snow
Washington Correspondent

WASHINGTON, DC, July 12 -- US House Republicans charged that the "bold action" on energy that Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) promised earlier this year has become "no energy, no action, and all embarrassment."

House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam of Florida told reporters on July 11 that Democrats are "still arguing among themselves, still engaged in intramural spats," although fuel prices continue to rise.

"They failed to produce a comprehensive plan in the first 6 months of the year. They promised a detailed plan July 4, and still there is no indication that they have anything close to a comprehensive energy plan that produces new energy and lowers prices while making the nation more energy-independent and secure," he maintained.

Pelosi and the rest of the House Democratic leadership declared "energy independence" on June 28 as they thanked the chairs of 11 committees for their work on a broad array of energy measures since January. Republicans said on July 11 that Democrats have suppressed dissent.

Former Speaker J. Dennis Hastert (R-Ill.) said pragmatic solutions, such as more gradual motor vehicle fuel economy increases favored by Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman John D. Dingell (D-Va.) and support for coal-to-liquids research proposed by Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher (D-Va.), will never reach the floor.

If Democrats can't solve their internal problems and debate doesn't occur until September, Hastert added, "the promise of the autumn may become the legends of the fall. It may not happen."

'No energy'
Joe Barton of Texas, the Energy and Commerce Committee's chief minority member, said, "There's no energy in this energy bill."

He complained that Democrats worked with the committee's parliamentarian to get rulings that "anything that had any real energy in it" such as coal, nuclear, renewable fuels, and "obviously anything with oil and gas" wasn't germane.

Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) said she supported several amendments during the Energy and Commerce Committee's markup that would have promoted biodiesel, nuclear, hydropower, and other alternatives, which Pelosi and the majority leadership apparently derailed.

"The public expects us to address our rising energy costs, but this bill does none of that. While the Democrats ignore the need to produce clean and reliable domestic energy, the American people end up paying the price," she said.

Contact Nick Snow at nsnow@cox.net.

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