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It seems republican House legislators on the Hill have come up with a different color lipstick for their energy agenda pig. In the name of families who are experiencing financial hardship due to the increase in heating costs, and longer, colder, winters, republicans are pushing bad legislation that will decrease highway safety and  increase the pollutants responsible for climate change by easing federal regulations on dirty energy producers. Maybe republicans simply lack the highly coveted critical thinking skill, and have a hard time connecting the dots.

There may soon be various explosive home heating fuels being driven on our highways by tired overworked and artificially amped truckers thanks to a new bill introduced in the house on the 25th of this month by republicans. The Home Heating Emergency Assistance Through Transportation Act, or the HHEATT Act. H.R. 4076, was created to allow truckers to drive longer in order to get to communities experiencing a shortage of heating fuel supplies. It states in the bill that an exemption would be issued that “(2) provided regulatory relief for commercial motor vehicle operations providing direct assistance supporting the delivery of propane and home heating fuels.”.  This type of legislation is a dirt filled band aid, that does nothing to protect public safety, nor will it reduce home heating costs. What it does do is allow more propane to be sold while its still a gold nugget, without considering the safety implications of tired and/or doped up drivers with a truck full of explosives.

Next on their list of First Aid, is H.R. 2824 known as the “Preventing Government Waste and Protecting Coal Mining Jobs in America” act. This bill would essentially give coal mining operations a two year water table pollution, free for all. The last piece in the kit is H.R. 3826 which would permit new coal plants to be built under a completely profit based scheme, with little regard as to environmental impact. It would also allow older coal plants to function as is while giving the impression they are “reporting in”. Both of these bills limit the power our government has to protect us from money hungry climate deniers, and they do little to actually mediate the rising costs of energy. These bill function under the same assumption that wrapping a gaping wound with dirty moldy gauze will somehow heal the wound. The fact is, easing EPA standards will contribute to more severe weather in the future as the limits on greenhouse gas emissions are raised. Also, there will be less freely available viable water if we set no limits on what is dumped into our water table.

The effects on New Mexico may not be readily apparent until you read the research report done by the Frontier Group and the Environment America Research & Policy Center published in 2013. The report shows New Mexico to be on the top 20 list for the dirtiest producers of energy. The study results revealed that two if NM's coal powered plants have 95% of the top 5 share of total power sector emissions, yet they generate only 23% of the 5 top share of total electrical generation. What that means is, of all the power generated from the top five sources, coal produces 95% of the pollution and only 23% of the power. Our state’s inefficient coal power plants rank us 7th in the US for the percentage of pollution from coal powered plants in relation to our other power producers. The stinger is that much of that power goes to Arizona. Arizona Public Service company ranking 15th in the list of dirtiest coal producers in all of America is located in Four Corners New Mexico, and its subsidiary, in San Juan, ranks 33rd.

Its no wonder the republican agenda refuses to properly fund and support our education system. Education leads to resisting this kind of disastrous two faced legislation. So, now that we know, its time to make some calls to the Hill. We must let them know we dont support power companies dumping their excrement in our back yard. Every call counts! Call or email your reps and let them know how you feel.
Ben Lujan, matt.ruybal@mail.house.gov (on the energy committee), 505-984-8950
Michelle Lujan Grisham 505-346-6781
Steve Pearce (202) 225-2365

Sources
http://beta.congress.gov/... ---HR 2824
http://beta.congress.gov/... ---HR 3826
http://beta.congress.gov/... ---HR 4076
http://billmoyers.com/... ---Article reference
http://environmentamericacenter.org/... ----Power Plant emmisions report

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