Sunday, September 15, 2013

Two Congressional climate and energy foibles

1.  The Republicans in Congress are quashing the idea of having a national science laureate who would go around the country inspiring the next generation about the wonders of science.  The reason?  Concerns that he might say something real about climate change.

House Republicans pull science laureate bill

The bill was never discussed in any committee, however, and Larry Hart of the American Conservative Union hit the roof when he saw it on the House calendar for the next day. (The Washington, D.C.-based group calls itself “the oldest and largest grassroots conservative organization in the nation.”) In a letter to other conservative organizations and every House member, Hart said the bill would give President Barack Obama the opportunity to appoint someone “who will share his view that science should serve political ends, on such issues as climate change and regulation of greenhouse gases.”
(Can I just slap Larry Hart upside de head?)

Oh, and by the way, the bill had bipartisan support.  And was backed by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

A science laureate for the United States?

A bipartisan group of Congressional lawmakers wants the United States to have a Science Laureate. Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Representatives Lamar Smith (R-TX) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) yesterday introduced legislation that would empower the president to select a "nationally renowned expert" who would "travel around the country to inspire future scientists," according to a statement released by Hirono's office. 

Conservative Republicans make me sick.  And most of them are ignorant anti-science dweebs.

2.  A bipartisan (there's that strange word again) energy efficiency bill is getting held up by Congressional shenanigans related to the pipe dream of stopping Obamacare.

Senate takes up bipartisan energy efficiency legislation

In a floor speech on Wednesday, Portman [ a Republican??!!] noted that the bill has the support of 260 businesses, trade groups and non-governmental organizations, from right-leaning groups like the National Association of Manufacturers, the Chamber of Commerce and the Christian Coalition to the Sierra Club. The White House also issued a statement on Wednesday saying it supports the bill.  The legislation "makes good environmental sense," Portman said. "I think it makes good energy sense. And I think it makes good economic sense, too."
 But wait... 

Senate energy efficiency bill - better luck next week?
Sen. David Vitter (R-La.) sought to introduce an amendment to the bill that would delay the implementation of health care reform's individual mandate for one year. "I have nothing against this bill and the provisions of it," said Vitter. "I support the vast majority of the provisions of this bill."

"I'm not blocking anything," said Vitter. "I'm proposing making amendments."
and also

Senate Republicans pledged Wednesday night [September 11]  to use the energy efficiency bill to force a vote on an unrelated measure that would delay the implementation of health care reform. Politico reports that Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has filed an amendment that seeks to delay the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate for people to obtain health insurance. He is expected to give a floor speech on it Thursday morning.

Get me anti-emetics, quick!!  Using a good bill to try and push their pipe dream is UGLY.  (And bad for the country, too.)

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