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Global warming regulation hit the big stage this week, as the Senate proceeded to debate on the energy-regulation-and-subsidies bill known as Lieberman-Warner. The bill’s other names include “America’s Climate Security Act” and “S.2151,” but it includes so much of the big-government favoritism and regulatory profiteering desired by one former energy giant, it should probably be dubbed “The Enron Bill.”
Enron is not alive today to profit from the artificial markets, subsidies and other goodies in the measure aptly dubbed “the largest pork bill ever” by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., but its spirit persists, embodied in today’s leading regulatory robber barons, General Electric, Alcoa and others.
House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) slowed Democrats’ attempt to pass a sweeping climate-change legislation Friday evening, reading page-by-page through a 300-page Democratic amendment before allowing a roll call vote.
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), one of the bill’s sponsors, interrupted Boehner’s filibuster with a parliamentary inquiry as to whether there was any limit to how long the Ohio Republican could speak – and suggested that he was hoping to talk so long that member might leave before the vote. “It’s the custom of the House to hear the leader’s remarks,” replied Tauscher, who looking apologetic as Republicans applauded.
“Reclaiming my time,” Boehner said, “the gentleman’s had his 30 years to put this bill together. And the House is going to spend a whopping five hours debating the most profound piece of legislation to come to this floor in 100 years. And the chairman has the audacity to drop a 300-plus page amendment in the hopper at 3:09 a.m. this morning. And so I would ask my colleagues, don’t you think the American people expect us to understand what’s in this bill before we vote on it?”