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Senate Vote: 71     Vote Date: May 12th, 2016

Issue: H.R. 2028 Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2016. Question: On Passage of H.R. 2028, as amended (for FY 2017).

Result: Passed by Senate, 90 to 8, 2 not voting. GOP and Democrats scored.

Freedom First Society:  The Senate amended measure made no effort to identify and eliminate or phase out unconstitutional programs and departments. It thus enjoyed the unanimous support of Senate Democrats, including the most liberal. Accordingly, the Senate version embraced the environmental movement’s war on energy, in the name of saving future generations from the Insider-promoted scare of manmade global warming.

Note: In passing this annual energy and water appropriations measure (one of the 12 in regular order), the Senate used the House-approved bill from FY2016 as the vehicle, replacing it with its own substitute, making the entire process confusing for outsiders to follow. (The Senate substitute amendment, S.amdt 3801, was submitted by Senators Lamar Alexander-R, Tenn. and Dianne Feinstein-D, Calif.)

We have assigned (good vote) to the Nays and (bad vote) to the Yeas. (P = voted present; ? = not voting; blank = not listed on roll call.)

Analysis: Undoubtedly, some of the programs funded by this measure are proper. However, a common practice with legislation that continues progressively larger unconstitutional government is to mix the good with the bad. This tactic provides weak politicians with the “excuse” for voting for the entire package.

Informed constituents should demand that their representatives and senators vote “no” on legislation that makes no serious effort to phase out and eliminate unconstitutional spending.

As a candidate for president in 1980, Ronald Reagan called for the abolition of Jimmy Carter’s Department of Energy (the DOE), but there has been little serious effort to do so, to the detriment of our nation. In general most of what the DOE does is not only unconstitutional, but counterproductive — acting to keep energy scarce and expensive. (The DOE did absorb some constitutional defense-related functions re our nuclear stockpile, making it a more difficult target.)

In the floor discussion prior to passage, we saw no willingness to expose or challenge the federal government’s war on energy, supported by the Insiders and their environmentalist offspring. Quite the opposite.

Indeed, Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon), used the occasion to promote “a movement — a vision — called “Keep It in the Ground,” under the heading “Energy Policy and Climate” change.   His unchallenged remarks emphasized the scare of manmade global warming, while perpetuating cover-ups of revolutionary orchestration to generate the appearance of popular support for his agenda. He also relied on the proclamations of an assumed genuine and respectable “international community,” as opposed to Insider-dominated governments and institutions.

The decades-old Insider-orchestrated war on energy has prevented and continues to prevent the U.S. from enjoying plentiful, inexpensive energy resources and the tremendous boost to the economy that would entail, while empowering the government to ration and act as a gatekeeper to those resources.

Author Steve Milloy, in his 2009 blockbuster, Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them, very credibly exposed these myths and the real agenda driving them. In our review (see our complete review of Milloy’s book) we stated:

The Green War on Energy

A primary green objective is to create scarcities, which then provide the pretext for government regulation and rationing. And what better place to bring a modern industrial nation to its knees than to starve it of energy?

In the late sixties and early seventies, the anti-nuclear movement, in cooperation with revolutionaries in government, largely killed the use of this American technology on American soil.

The current tactic to achieve energy scarcity, promoted by the Obama administration, is to emphasize the development of ‘renewable’ energy, while attaching burdensome strings to the construction of power plants and the development of resources that can realistically supply our immediate energy needs, such as oil from shale. Colorado, as Milloy points out, is the Saudia Arabia of shale oil. Yet this resource has for years been off limits to development.

Green Hell provides a much-needed dose of reality regarding promises that a modern society can be run anytime soon on the alternative sources being touted, and Milloy points out the enormous expense in trying.

Moreover, when push comes to shove, as Milloy shows, green leaders will oppose even their “renewable” sources where these sources look like they might offer serious help, since the real but not advertised objective is no energy. The renewable energy campaign is really just a campaign to create shortages (at immense expense) that government can ration.

Myths re Nuclear Waste

The late Petr Beckman in his 1979 booklet “The Non-Problem of Nuclear Wastes,” correctly observed:

  1. It is utterly untrue that no method of waste disposal is known;
  2. The paramount issue that is being covered up is a simple comparison: Is nuclear waste disposal a significant advantage in safety, public health, and environmental impact over wastes of fossil-fired power plants … or not?
  3. Much of the answer to the question above is contained in two simple statistics: For the same power, nuclear wastes are some 3.5 million times smaller in volume; and in duration of their toxicity, the advantage ranges from a few percent to infinity.

Yet by perpetuating the myth of a nuclear waste problem, the federal government, with convenient pressure from the Insider-financed environmental lobby, has been able to stifle the use of U.S.-pioneered nuclear technology on American soil. And, of course, big-spenders love a problem to manage.

Excerpts from the May 12, 2016 Congressional Record 

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont):

“The bill also includes report language that directs the Department of Energy to fund activities that support the development and testing of new low-emission, highly efficient wood stoves, an important heat source for many Vermont homes because of the affordable and renewable thermal energy they provide.

“Senator Alexander and Senator Feinstein have worked in a bipartisan way to produce a responsible, rider-free appropriations bill, and I hope this process will serve as a model for the Senate as we continue the appropriations process this year.”

Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee):

“This bill is almost half and half defense and nondefense, about $37.5 billion. It supports several Federal agencies that do important work, including the U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Army Corps of Engineers, Bureau of Reclamation, National Nuclear Security Administration, which has to do with our nuclear weapons, and the Appalachian Regional Commission….

“It helps to resolve the nuclear waste stalemate that our country has been in for 25 years, finding appropriate places to put used nuclear fuel so we can continue to have a strong nuclear power program — which produces 60 percent of all the carbon-free electricity we have in this country — and it cleans up hazardous materials at Cold War sites.”

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California):

“I extend my congratulations to the distinguished Senator from Tennessee on passing this bill. We have not passed a free-standing Energy and Waterbill on this floor for 7 years, since 2009, when Senators Dorgan and Bob Bennett were chair and ranking member. Not only are we passing the bill, but we are passing a good bill.”