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Public Statements

Energy Tax Prevention Act of 2011

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, D.C.

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Mr. SCALISE. Madam Chair, we are here today because the EPA has continued to push this effort to pass a national energy tax. It was tried through cap-and-trade over the last year and a half. That bill went through the legislative process and was defeated in a bipartisan way. This is not a Republican or a Democrat issue when we're talking about preventing the EPA from running millions of jobs out of our country, and that is literally what's at stake here.

Believe me, as people look through the letters of support and as we comb through the days of testimony that we've had on this over the last 2 years with regard to this concept of the EPA's regulating greenhouse gases, Madam Chair, we are talking about a proposal by the EPA that, according to the National Association of Manufacturers, would run 3 million jobs out of our country.

Now, we should all be here working feverishly to create jobs. In fact, our legislation, the National Energy Tax Prevention Act, will create jobs because it will remove the uncertainty that exists today where so many employers, so many of our job creators, are scared to death of the threat now of regulation coming over; because, again, Congress rejected their proposal for the national energy tax through cap-and-trade in a bipartisan way.

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Mr. SCALISE. If the gentleman has a parliamentary inquiry, I don't think that comes out of my time.

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Mr. SCALISE. I reclaim my time, Madam Chair, because I am talking specifically about the amendment. If I am allowed the opportunity to continue with my comments, I have to finish a thought first before we talk specifically about the amendment.

First of all, if you look at what happened by legislation, they tried legislation, and the legislation failed. A bipartisan vote defeated that legislation. Then they came back with regulation. So this proposed regulation is being addressed by our bill, the underlying bill.

The amendment by the gentleman from Connecticut proposes to create a loophole to continue to allow the EPA to get their nose back under that tent to regulate greenhouse gases. You can just look at the language to see that it allows for that loophole that we're trying to close.

First of all, in a bipartisan fashion, Madam Chair, Congress has said we don't want the EPA imposing the national energy tax that cap-and-trade would propose. We don't want those millions of jobs leaving our country. Then they came back through regulation, and they said, Well, we'll just do it through regulation, a de facto cap-and-trade energy tax, because they couldn't get it passed through Congress.

Of course, anyone who has taken civics knows you're supposed to go through the legislative process if you want to change policy. So, if our underlying bill passes the House, then they won't be able to go through regulation; but the gentleman's amendment would actually say that there would be a loophole even though Congress would say, No, you don't have the authority to do that. You can't run those jobs to places like China where they have absolutely no environmental controls that we have today, which are dramatically better than those they have in China and India and in some of the other countries, countries which would be happy to take the millions of American jobs that would flee this country if they were able to get away with it.

We have to reject this amendment and take that loophole away. Don't give them that loophole to continue to regulate greenhouse gases through a de facto cap-and-trade national energy tax. So I would ask that we reject this amendment and pass the underlying bill.

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Mr. SCALISE. I appreciate the offer of the gentleman from California, but I cannot adhere to a United Nations framework. I cannot adhere to the ability for the EPA to continue to keep their nose under the tent to provide whether it's called ``technical assistance'' or whether they try to continue to push things, because the EPA does interact with States on other issues, and I surely would not want to see some kind of situation where the EPA is going to try to hold something else over a State's head and use this threat, because they really do want the chance to regulate greenhouse gases and impose an energy tax.

So I think we've debated it very thoroughly. I understand your position, and I respect the gentleman from Connecticut's position. I just don't agree. I think we need to preserve American jobs and let the States do what they already do such a good job of doing; but we need to tell the EPA that ``no'' means ``no.'' They've got their own role to play, and it's not regulating greenhouse gases.

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