A new report details the 223 votes the House of Representatives has cast over the last two years to undercut wind, solar and energy efficiency and provide special favors to the fossil fuel industry. The report, released by the Democratic staff of the Natural Resources Committee, at the direction of Ranking Member Ed Markey (D-Mass.), provides a comprehensive view of the extreme ideological leanings on energy from the most do-nothing Congress in history.
The findings of the report, which focuses on a 223 vote sub-set of the total 315 anti-environmental votes cast in this Congress, include:
--The House voted 42 times to stop clean energy alternatives and energy efficiency measures.
--The House voted 54 times for subsidies and other gifts to the oil and gas industry, including votes to preserve tax and royalty breaks, expand risky new drilling and pipelines, and allow companies to sell off America's oil and gas resources to higher-paying foreign countries.
--The House voted 127 times to block or cut health, safety and environmental protections for the oil, gas and coal industries.
--The House wasted more than 108 hours of floor time on anti-clean-energy bills and fossil fuel giveaways they knew had no chance of passing the United States Senate.
"The arithmetic doesn't lie, and when you add it up this is the most anti-clean energy, do-nothing, pro-pollution Congress in history," said Rep. Markey. "When you combine the House Republicans' record of legislative futility with this tally of ideological temerity, you have all the evidence you need to call this the most out of touch, inept Congress in history."
For example, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), the current Vice Presidential nominee, voted 100 percent of the time with House Republicans. That included votes to continue funding and loan guarantee eligibility for the nearly-bankrupt United States Enrichment Corporation -- which has received almost $1 billion in taxpayer subsidies over the last eight months and has applied for a $2 billion loan guarantee from the Department of Energy -- while simultaneously voting to cut funding for solar and renewable loan guarantees.
In August, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney released the Romney-Ryan energy plan that's virtually identical to the legislative agenda advanced by House Republicans in the 112th Congress. An analysis of that plan by the Natural Resources Committee Democratic staff can be viewed HERE.
House Republicans have waged this attack on clean energy, and supported fossil fuel interests, in spite of the huge advances made in clean energy in America over the last few years. Wind energy is now producing 4 percent of U.S. electricity--and more than 10 percent in a number of states--after producing almost nothing just a few years ago. Solar energy is doubling every year. New fuel economy standards, agreed to by automakers, are expected to save Americans $1.7 trillion at the pump. And more than two million private sector jobs have been created in green goods and services.
As House Republicans have fought to block and roll back this progress, they have also voted to dole out giveaways to the oil and gas industry and weaken health and safety protections for the American people. Even with major problems exposed by the BP oil spill, House Republicans failed to pass a single bill to improve offshore drilling safety and instead voted to cut funds for offshore safety inspections, expand offshore drilling all along the East and West coasts, waive environmental reviews for such drilling, and preserve royalty-free drilling and oil-industry tax loopholes.