Freedom First Society

Issue: H.R. 1582 Energy Consumers Relief Act of 2013. (Sponsor: Rep. Bill Cassidy, LA-6.)

Result: Passed in House, 232 to 181, 20 not voting. Democrats scored.

Bill Summary: The Energy Consumers Relief Act is designed to prevent the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating final rules that regulate any aspect of the production, supply, distribution, or use of energy, if such rules would have significant negative impact on the economy.

Analysis:  This roll call is merely another GOP posturing step designed to showcase GOP opposition to the subversive and unconstitutional EPA strangulation of energy production, without actually providing any relief. Everyone knows that the measure will go nowhere in the Democrat-controlled Senate and that the president would never approve it.

Accordingly, this roll call is more about image building for GOP campaigning than it is about actually helping the energy consumer. Before Americans buy into the ruse and enthusiastically support pure partisan politics as the answer, they should remember the GOP contribution to building the regulatory monster.

In the midst of the media uproar over the 1969 Santa Barbara “ecological disaster,” Senator Henry “Scoop” Jackson re-introduced his previously defeated bill to establish the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ). Congress passed Jackson’s National Environmental Policy Act of 1969 (NERA) in December, and “Republican” President Nixon signed it into law on January 1, 1970.

The law, requiring federal environmental impact statements, was a dream come true for environmentalist attorneys.   The law would be used to tie up construction of the Alaskan oil pipeline for five years. Then on December 2, 1970, “Republican” President Nixon, through executive order, created the Environmental Protection Agency.

The record shows that the Republican leadership has followed the same Insider/Democratic tune when the chips were down. But, of course, posturing to the contrary when it does not seriously threaten the environmentalist agenda is fine with the Establishment.

Undoubtedly, some GOP congressmen are actually serious about regulatory rollback and would hang tough if they had the chance. However, this House roll call, enjoying the unanimous support of the entire GOP caucus (except 10 who did not vote), does not single out the genuine EPA opponents among the many who merely postured as such. So we score only the Democrats, giving credit to those 9 who ignored their party’s leadership and voted to restrain the EPA.

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

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