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Renewable Energy and Energy Conservaion Tax Act of 2007

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY CONSERVATION TAX ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - August 04, 2007)

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Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, this bill and the bill that just passed before us is a fiscal Frankenstein. It is a typical pattern: more budget gimmicks on spending, more tax increases.

Last week, a farm bill passed. Budget gimmicks, tax increases. Earlier this week, the SCHIP bill passed. Budget gimmicks, tax increases. Today, right now, these energy bills are passing. What are they? Budget gimmicks, tax increases.

Right now, the bill that just passed before had $6 billion in savings that were used last week in last week's farm bill, all to give the appearance that the majority is keeping their word on their PAYGO.

More importantly, these bills, in addition to their budget gimmicks, raise taxes on consumers. This will cost our constituents at their pocketbooks and at the pump.

The worst part of this bill, I think, aside from the fact that it seeks to pick winners and losers in the marketplace, to do nothing, nothing, to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, to reduce our independence, it has $6 billion of walk-around money, of green pork, for large city mayors and Governors. No accountability. Just as long as it is in the spirit of green, in the spirit of, you know, energy, you get the money.

Every time we have ever built a new program before, as this one does, you have example after example of waste, fraud and abuse. It doesn't do a thing to help the environment, it doesn't do a thing to help our fiscal balance sheet, but it does everything to create a new program that wastes money, that requires higher taxes.

We are seeing a consistent pattern here: more spending gimmicks and more tax increases. These tax increases will raise prices. They will raise prices on energy. They will raise gas prices.

This is a missed opportunity, and the missed opportunity is we could have worked together to make ourselves less dependent on foreign oil, do a better job on energy conservation, and advance the cause for renewables.

Sadly, this does not do it, because it is more budget gimmicks and spending increases.

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Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate the gentleman yielding.

I rise in opposition to this for a number of reasons. Does anybody on Earth think that by raising taxes on oil and gas that we're not going to raise prices on oil and gas? Does anybody believe that we're not going to raise gas prices with this bill? Does anybody believe that we're not going to make it more expensive for people to heat their homes? Does anybody believe we're not going to make us more dependent on foreign oil? That's what this bill does. This bill raises gas prices, makes it more expensive for us to heat our homes, make us more dependent on foreign oil, and less competitive internationally.

It could have been a good bill. It could have done more to make us less dependent on foreign oil. It could have helped us do more to make us energy independent, renewable. And why are we raising all these taxes? So we can come up with a new pork barrel spending program to give to big cities to spend as they wish.

Why on Earth would we do that when we're going to make our constituents pay higher gas prices? The intentions are noble. The delivery is bad. This policy has been tried before, and it has failed.

I urge defeat of this bill because it is a missed opportunity. It's a missed opportunity to a real bipartisan success, like we had in the Energy Policy Act of 2005, where we invested in hydrogen, in renewable energy, in conservation and, yes, in more domestic production. That's what we should do. You can't do one and not the other.

We need to produce more energy here so we're less dependent on foreign oil. That's very important. This does none of that. It goes in the wrong direction.

We need to incentivize conservation. There's some conservation incentives here. We need to do more on renewables and do it in such a way where it's not picking winners and losers; where the best technology gets funded. Sadly, this bill says we're going to pick this technology and not that technology, and by doing so, we're hurting tomorrow's breakthroughs, tomorrow's innovations.

What we really ought to do is make us less dependent on foreign oil, lower gas prices, lower home heating costs, more conservation, and not pick winners and losers, and incentivize tomorrow's breakthroughs so the genius of America can continue to expand and come up with those new technologies we never heard of before.

Sadly, this prevents that from happening. It disincentivizes that. I urge a ``no'' vote because we shouldn't be raising taxes, doing budget gimmicks and making it more expensive for us to take our kids to school, to go to work and heat our homes.

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