After 12 years of Republican control and lobbyist-favoring deals, Congress is finally standing up to the corporate interests and are putting the people of the United States first and foremost on the legislative agenda.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman John D. Dingell released new energy legislation Monday without provisions opposed by Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a concession designed to move the bill to the floor by Independence Day.
But the Michigan Democrat made it clear that his move was a tactical retreat -- not a surrender. In a memo to committee members Monday, Dingell said he stripped out the most contentious provisions, including emissions rules opposed by Pelosi, to expedite action on the draft energy bill, but that he plans to resurrect the proposals when the House writes a climate change bill in the fall.
Pelosi, D-Calif., and Dingell have been feuding for several months over climate change and energy legislation, as the new speaker works to exert her authority over committee chairmen. Dingell, a savvy veteran of the congressional battlefields, is famously protective of his committee's turf and a defender of the auto industry crucial to his state's economy.
But Dingell crossed Pelosi with language in the original draft he co-authored with Energy and Air Quality Subcommittee Chairman Rick Boucher, D-Va. It would have pre-empted California and 11 other states from enforcing tougher tailpipe emission regulations than the federal government. Pelosi said she would oppose any limits on her state's ability to regulate its air quality.
Pelsosi's leading in the right direction.
In addition to the state emissions pre-emption, Dingell also deleted language that would circumvent a recent Supreme Court ruling that the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide, the primary greenhouse gas thought to contribute to global warming.
The new draft also dropped incentives for production of liquid coal, a fuel that supporters say would ease dependence on foreign oil, but that critics say could increase greenhouse gas emissions. Most Republicans generally support the liquid coal measures, as do coal-state Democrats like Boucher.
"Republicans Disappointed?" I bet they are.
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