Friday, June 27, 2008

No Excuses

Final Tiberi post of the week.

Recently, the Dispatch had an article titled "Drilling Splits Ohio Lawmakers Down Party Lines." In it, the GOP legislators have a bunch of reasonable-sounding quotes and the Dems are mainly represented by somewhat more shrill-sounding quotes. I'm certainly not ruling out some slant in the reporting (check the byline), but it's certainly possible that the difference in tone is intentional on the part of the legislators (one bonobo's shrill is another's Righteous Anger).

On the whole, however, I disagree with the statements made by the GOP on this issue, no matter how reasonably they may be presented. For instance, here's the part about PT:

Likewise, GOP Rep. Pat Tiberi of Genoa Township said drilling should be only part of a strategy that also would incorporate steps such as conservation, increased refinery capacity and alternative energy.

"The answer is not just 'drill, drill, drill'; the answer lies in a combination of many ideas," Tiberi said.

There's a big difference between saying that the answer is not Drill, Drill, Drill, and saying that the answer is not JUST Drill, Drill, Drill. So we disagree on whether DDD is a part of the answer.

The next part sounds reasonable, and seems to summarize the thoughts attributed to him in that first paragraph. But are they really a match? This week John Boehner started an aggressive push to get a bill that he co-sponsored out of committee (h/t Daily Bellwether) called the No More Excuses Energy Act. When I saw that Boehner was pressing for it, I had a pretty good idea that his sidekick Pat would be for it as well. It turns out that PT is indeed another one of the cosponsors of the bill. The summary of that bill seems to be the combination of ideas preferred by folks like Pat:

No More Excuses Energy Act of 2007 - Requires the Secretary of the Treasury to prescribe regulations for the taxpayer election to expense the cost of certain refinery property not later than 60 days after the enactment of this Act.

Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) allow the issuance of tax exempt facility bonds for the financing of domestic use oil refinery facilities; (2) extend through 2018 the tax credit for producing electricity from wind facilities; and (3) allow tax credits for the production of electricity from nuclear energy, natural gas production, and carbon dioxide tertiary injectant processes. (link added)

Requires the President to designate at least 10 sites for oil or natural gas refineries on federal lands and make such sites available to the private sector for construction of refineries.

Prohibits the Nuclear Regulatory Commission from denying an application for nuclear waste disposal on the grounds of present or future insufficient capacity.

Terminates all existing federal laws prohibiting expenditures to conduct oil and natural gas leasing and preleasing activities in the Outer Continental Shelf.

American-Made Energy and Good Jobs Act - Directs the Secretary of the Interior to establish and implement a competitive oil and gas leasing program in the Coastal Plain of Alaska.

Repeals the prohibition against producing oil and gas from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Sets forth requirements for the sale of oil and natural gas leases in the Coastal Plain, environmental protection, transportation easements, and royalty payments to Alaska.
Establishes in the Treasury the Coastal Plain Local Government Impact Aid Assistance Fund to assist Alaska jurisdictions that are directly impacted by oil and gas exploration and production in the Coastal Plain.

Out of curiosity, how would Pat feel if the President designated this site as one of the ten new refinery sites? Canton has a refinery on a similar patch. Or perhaps as a temporary' repository for nuclear waste that is created even though everyone knew there was no permanent facility for nuclear waste that would be available? That's a pork project to run on.

So anyway, the combination of ideas that Pat sponsors involves rolling back decades of commitments to protect environmentally sensitive areas in the Alaskan wilderness and off of our beaches, putting refineries and nuclear waste in some as-yet-to-be-determined communities' backyards, handing out tax credits to oil and gas companies in the process, and throwing a bone to windpower but leaving conservation up to volunteers.

Sound reasonable?

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