COMPREHENSIVE AMERICAN ENERGY SECURITY AND CONSUMER PROTECTION ACT -- (House of Representatives - September 16, 2008)
Mr. FLAKE. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
You know, a lot of us who spent time at home hoping that we would come back here and vote on a serious piece of legislation are disappointed here. This is not a serious piece of legislation. This is a piece of legislation that seems to be geared simply to give some people some cover for the upcoming elections.
If we had a serious piece of legislation that would provide for allowing us to exploit our own resources, it would allow States to share in the revenue generated by offshore drilling. Without allowing that, you simply guarantee that no State will opt in. So there is a lot of bait and switch here going on.
It seems that the only recycling in this is a familiar pattern of loading the bill up with a lot of items so you can get votes from here and there. For example, one of the spending programs is a National Consumer Awareness Program to educate the public on the environmental and energy benefits of public transportation. That's not a serious bill about our energy crisis. This seems to be a San Francisco bill with New York sensibilities.
And speaking of New York, there is a big fat item in for New York, about a $2 billion item which allows for the so-called Liberty Zone. This provision would allow New York City to keep $2 billion worth of the employers' share of payroll taxes to invest in transportation projects. That's a specific limited tax benefit for one entity here. That's an earmark by all definitions. And yet nobody has been able to explain--and we sought this morning, we sought all day to have somebody explain what that has to do with our energy future. Instead, it was just put in the bill to try to get a vote from here and there.
Again, this is not a serious piece of legislation. It is meant to provide political cover. It should be rejected. And, hopefully, as the moratorium goes off, we will get to really addressing our energy future.