Under the Republican leadership of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce there is a whole new approach to the environment and the role of government to protect citizens from recalcitrant polluters. The new GOP majority has unabashedly sold out to the big energy corporations by accepting more than a quarter of a million dollars from those whom they are supposed to be regulating.
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The corporate bribery appears to have paid off. Currently under consideration is what the GOP have christened the "Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011." You may wonder what this legislation does to prevent taxation on energy. Well, here is the text of the actual bill:
Providing for the consideration of the bill (H.R. 910) to amend the Clean Air Act to prohibit the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency from promulgating any regulation concerning, taking action relating to, or taking into consideration the emission of a greenhouse gas to address climate change, and for other purposes.
You read that right. The bill prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency from protecting the environment. And other than the title, the word "tax" does not appear at all in the bill. This legislative lunacy has inspired a couple of obviously frustrated Democratic congressmen to offer amendments that seek to improve at least the official title of the bill.
Jared Polis of Colorado submitted an amendment to change the title to "The Dirty Air Act of 2011." Gerry Connolly of Virginia was somewhat more industrious. He submitted eight amendments including "The Koch Brothers Appreciation Act," "The Protecting Americans from Polar Bears Act," and "The Head in the Sand Act."
Some people may think that these sort of pranks mock the serious responsibilities of the institution. But the truth is that these amendments are no more ridiculous than the title as written in the bill's original language. And nothing is more ridiculous the actual intent of the bill. This is a great way to illustrate that it's the GOP who are a joke.