Politics

Boxer-Kerry Cap-and-Tax Hides Costly Mandate

Under the direction of Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Ca.), the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed its Boxer-Kerry cap and trade national energy tax bill in early November by an 11-1 vote — right before the week-long Veterans’ Day break.  The seven Republicans on the committee walked out of the markup, refusing to participate in the process saying they hadn’t been given adequate time to read the massive tax bill.  Imagine that.

The one dissenting Democratic vote came from Sen. Max Baucus (D-Mt.) who said the bill was too extreme, did not protect farmers and would never pass the full Senate.  

Sen. David Vitter (R-La.), a member of the Environment Committee, has since had more time to study the bill.  Vitter has uncovered a directive secreted in the bill, and attached to a trigger, that revokes the government credits issued to business and industry allowing them to actually use energy.  I asked Sen. Vitter to explain this mandate found in the bill.

 “Simply put, this provision creates — in law — a directive that does not ask, but tells, the president of the United States to use all the regulatory might he has within the federal government to bring down the concentration of greenhouse gases once the trigger number of 450 ppm [parts per million] is reached,” Vitter said.  “The catch is that many major laboratories that runs scientific models on the air for these types of measures have concluded that this trigger of 450 ppm will be met within months of the cap and trade bill’s enactment.”  

“Currently, the cap and trade system within these bills requires the federal government to issue permits for the carbon credits,” Vitter continued.  “Knowing that it is a matter of when, not if, this trigger will be set into action, the value of those permits may be nullified if any of the projects require permits to operate.  In other words you could have the credits, but if there was a Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act or any other permit associated with that operation then you could be denied the permit and all the credits in the world won’t matter.”  

This new directive would change the discretionary authority of the president on carbon emission standards to a hard and fast mandate, in effect giving federal agencies the power to dictate to the president national energy policy through enforcement of mandated carbon emission levels.  It would give the widest possible scope of enforcement authority over the energy that powers our economy through business and industry to unelected, unaccountable federal environmental bureaucrats.

I asked Sen. Vitter for a real-world example of what that unprecedented government authority over the nation’s energy use would mean.

“Under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, offshore energy and permitting is authorized,” Vitter said.  “If it is determined that offshore leasing would increase greenhouse gases then this overarching law could prevent further energy exploration and production.  There really is no limit to the creativity that could be used under this legislation to stop development, which could cripple our economy.”

Five additional Senate committees have jurisdiction over the national energy tax bill and must pass their own version before the bill could be merged then brought to the Senate floor.

“Doc Fix” in the House this Week

The House plans to bring to the floor this week the controversial “doc fix” bill that was separated out of Pelosicare that passed the House earlier this month.  “Doc fix” was stripped out of the health care bill in an effort to disguise the true cost.  The bill increases the deficit by over $210 billion.

The “doctor fix” seeks to make up for low Medicare payment rates by reimbursing participating doctors for part of the Medicare underpayments.  Those underpayments have driven many doctors away from treating Medicare patients.  The measure failed on a procedural vote last month in the Senate.

Amazon: Levin has 2nd Best Selling Book of 2009

Liberty and Tyranny: A Conservative Manifesto
penned by nationally syndicated radio talk show host Mark Levin was confirmed this week as the second best-selling book on Amazon.com for the year 2009.  

Released in late March and literally ignored by reviewers at the Washington Post and New York Times (even as it sat for months as #1 on the bestseller lists) by mid-September the book had sold over one million copies in hardback alone, an astounding feat for a non-fiction book.

I asked Levin about the enormous response his book has received from the American people.

“There had not been an affirmative restatement of conservatism for decades,” Levin said.  “The time was right.  Instead, there were endless books on the death of conservatism, the need to modernize conservatism by abandoning fundamental principles, and so forth.”

People know truth when they read it.  Congratulations, Mark, on the success of your phenomenal book.

Palin Responds to ‘Sexist’ Newsweek Attack

Liberals gone apoplectic over the success of Sarah Palin’s new book have again set out to trash the popular conservative,  the book hits the shelves today.  The Newsweek cover photo of Palin sports the former governor in a short exercise outfit with a caption that reads, “How do you solve a problem like Sarah?  She’s bad news for the GOP — and everybody else, too.”  

Ahem.

Palin has redefined communications garnering earned media using her Facebook page to respond to media attacks, this time from the far-left, radical editors at Newsweek.

“The choice of photo for the cover of this week’s Newsweek is unfortunate,” Palin said.  “When it comes to Sarah Palin, this ‘news’ magazine has relished focusing on the irrelevant rather than the relevant. The Runner’s World magazine one-page profile for which this photo was taken was all about health and fitness — a subject to which I am devoted and which is critically important to this nation. The out-of-context Newsweek approach is sexist, and oh-so-expected by now. If anyone can learn anything from it: it shows why you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, gender, or color of skin. The media will do anything to draw attention — even if out of context.”