Schwarzenegger, GOP disagree on energy bill

The House today voted 236-182 to pass the Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2008, which would — among other things — end tax subsidies to Big Oil and invest that money instead in clean, renewable energy and energy efficiency.

House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, said it “will only make matters worse by raising taxes and setting the table for even higher prices at the pump,” which is both “unacceptable” and “irresponsible.”

Don Young, the House Natural Resources Committee’s ranking Republican, said it’s “a true indication of how out of touch they (Democrats) are with the needs of our nation… It makes no sense whatsoever.”

And Jim McCrery, the Ways and Means Committee’s ranking Republican, said it “completely ignores reality” and “will make our economy more dependent on foreign sources of energy… This is worse than no solution at all.”

Here’s what their fellow Republican California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had to say:

schwarzenegger2.jpgI commend Speaker Nancy Pelosi and members of Congress who worked hard to pass this critical legislation that will allow us to continue investing in our nation’s renewable energy supplies – we need as much clean energy in our resource mix as possible. With our aggressive environmental goals, unprecedented energy portfolio standards and booming ‘green economy,’ California has a vital stake in legislation to be passed by Congress and approved by President Bush.

A long-term solar tax credit is critical because of the time needed to bid, permit, engineer and build solar projects. Today’s action will help California in its efforts to reduce carbon emissions and our dependence on imported fuel sources. I urge the U.S. Senate and the President to quickly pass this legislation.

Wow, this sounds a lot like saying that, “At a time when our economy is struggling, this bill will provide savings to consumers, protect the environment, create jobs and make our nation stronger by ending our dependence on foreign oil.” Or, that “(e)nding our dependence on foreign oil and using renewable energy to help fight global warming will make our nation stronger.” Or, that the bill will “put us on a path toward energy security and energy independence in a fiscally responsible way.”

But those latter words of praise came from Democrats — House Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller, D-Martinez; Rep. Jerry McNerney, D-Pleasanton; and Hosue Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-San Francisco, respectively.

Josh Richman

Josh Richman covers state and national politics for the Bay Area News Group. A New York City native, he earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and reported for the Express-Times of Easton, Pa. for five years before coming to the Oakland Tribune and ANG Newspapers in 1997. He is a frequent guest on KQED Channel 9’s “This Week in Northern California;” a proud father; an Eagle Scout; a somewhat skilled player of low-stakes poker; a rather good cook; a firm believer in the use of semicolons; and an unabashed political junkie who will never, EVER seek elected office.