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House to Vote on Faux Oil Spill Bill; Pelosi Blocks Independent Investigation

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Author Topic: House to Vote on Faux Oil Spill Bill; Pelosi Blocks Independent Investigation  (Read 761 times)
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« on: July 29, 2010, 01:38:04 pm »

Pelosi Blocks Oil Spill Investigation
http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38284
by  Connie Hair
07/28/2010

The latest version of the CLEAR Act is slated for a floor vote in the House this week as Democrats look for ways to use the Gulf oil spill as a means to pass elements of their unpopular energy agenda.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) stripped out authorization for an independent investigation into the Gulf disaster.

The Natural Resources Committee unanimously passed the amendment in committee markup July 14 offered by Rep. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) that would establish a bipartisan, independent, National Commission on Outer Continental Shelf Oil Spill Prevention.

Unlike the commission set up by President Obama -- packed only with environmental activists and no petroleum engineers -- the commission unanimously approved by the Natural Resources committee would be comprised of technical experts to study the actual events leading up to the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Not a single member of the committee voiced opposition at the bill’s markup.  The Senate has also approved an independent commission.

“To investigate what went wrong and keep it from happening again, the commission must include members who have expertise in petroleum engineering.  The President’s Commission has none,” Cassidy, the amendment’s author, told HUMAN EVENTS after the announcement.  “It defies common sense that this amendment passed unanimously in committee, only to be deleted in the Speaker’s office.”

Rep. Doc Hastings (R-Wash.), top Republican on the Natural Resources Committee said the Obama’s administration’s commission was set up to protect the President.

“By deleting the bipartisan, independent oil spill commission that’s received bipartisan support in both House and Senate committees, Democrats have shown they are more interested in protecting the President than getting independent answers to what caused this tragic Gulf spill.  Some of the biggest failures that contributed to the Gulf disaster are the direct responsibility of the federal government and by deleting this bipartisan, independent commission, Democrats ensure that only the President’s hand-picked commission will be digging into any failures of his own Interior Department appointees.  There is widespread agreement that no member of the President’s commission possesses technical expertise in oil drilling, and several are on the record in opposition to offshore drilling and support a moratorium that will cost thousands of jobs,” Hastings said.

The bill also sets up myriad regulations and new standards and laws for drilling that have nothing to do with offshore drilling.

“Even more outrageous is this bill’s attempt to use the oil spill tragedy as leverage to enact totally unrelated policies and increase federal spending on unrelated programs by billions of dollars. What does a solar panel in Nevada, a wind turbine in Montana, uranium for nuclear power, or a ban on fish farming have to do with the Gulf spill? Nothing -- but the spill is a good excuse to try and pass otherwise stalled or unpopular new laws,” Hastings said.

Another member of the committee, Rep. John Fleming (R-La.), pointed out the hand-picked Obama commission is just getting underway with no findings or recommendations made.

“This ‘fix it’ bill is being rammed through without an accurate and full understanding of what actually went wrong. The Presidential Commission is just barely beginning its work, no investigations are yet concluded, and the failed [blowout preventer] still on the ocean floor, yet we are voting on a bill without knowing what went wrong,” Fleming said.

“Furthermore, at a time when Washington should be focused on creating jobs, this bill will do just the opposite by hampering future energy development and stifling job creation along the Gulf Coast,” Fleming added.  “This knee-jerk legislation -- coupled with the Administration’s damaging Moratorium on offshore drilling -- will worsen, not help, the situation.”

Yet the House is poised to vote this week on the CLEAR Act, likely Friday.

“This bill has less to do with preventing another spill than it does preventing domestic energy production,” Cassidy said.

UPDATE: House Republicans released bullets on the CLEAR Act this morning breaking down some of the measures included in the bill, including:

-     Imposes job-killing changes and higher taxes for onshore natural gas and oil production. It fundamentally changes leasing onshore by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, which affects not just leasing for natural gas and oil, but also for renewable energy including wind and solar. Forest Service and BLM leasing are shoved into the three new agencies that are replacing the former Minerals Management Service (MMS).

-     Creates over $30 billion in new mandatory spending for two programs that have nothing to do with the oil spill (the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Historic Preservation Fund). In the version of the bill headed to the House floor, Democrats added brand new language that expressly allows this $30 billion to be earmarked by the Appropriations Committee.

-     Raises taxes by over $22 billion in ten years – with the taxes eventually climbing to nearly $3 billion per year. This is a direct tax on natural gas and oil that will raise energy prices for American families and businesses, hurt domestic jobs, and increase our dependence on foreign oil. This tax only applies to U.S. oil and gas production on federal leases – giving an advantage to foreign oil and hurting American energy jobs.

-     Requires the federal takeover of state authority to permit in state waters, which reverses sixty years of precedent. The mismanagement, corruption and oversight failures of the federal government are being used as justification to expand federal control by seizing management from the states.

-     Allows 10% of all offshore revenues – an amount possibly as high as $500 million per year – to be spent on a new fund controlled by the Interior Secretary to issue ocean research grants (ORCA fund). There is no requirement that the fund is used for the Gulf region or anything related to oil spills or offshore drilling. These funds can be earmarked.

More at the link.
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« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2010, 02:11:41 pm »

Basic Facts on the CLEAR Act (H.R. 3534)
http://republicans.resourcescommittee.house.gov/News/DocumentSingle.aspx?DocumentID=200912

  WASHINGTON, D.C., Jul 28 -

    * The CLEAR Act is being sold as a response to the Gulf oil spill crisis, yet the bill itself stretches far beyond addressing this tragedy to include page after page of provisions that are unrelated to the oil spill, will kill American jobs, and are premature by acting before Congress has the full facts from the numerous ongoing investigations into the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill.

    * The Obama Moratorium on deepwater drilling has already cost tens of thousands of jobs and this bill will eliminate even more American energy jobs by making it harder and more expensive to produce American energy both onshore and offshore. The Gulf spill has already taken a terrible economic toll on the Gulf Coast and affected businesses across the country – and Congress shouldn’t enact laws that impose even further economic harm and lead to thousands of more lost jobs.

    * Reforms are clearly needed to make American offshore drilling the safest in the world, but this bill gets ahead of the facts in a rush to write new laws. The investigations need to be completed so that Congress can act intelligently. For example, the Deepwater Horizon rig’s blowout preventer that is supposed to be a fail-safe device to prevent any spill is still a mile under the ocean – it needs to be retrieved and examined. The focus must be on permanently stopping the leak, cleaning up the oil, assisting Gulf Coast communities, holding BP 100% accountable, and getting to the bottom of all that went wrong. To ensure it makes the right reforms, Congress must first know exactly what caused and contributed to this disaster.

    * With this bill, Democrats are exploiting the Gulf oil spill tragedy as a political opportunity to push through provisions that are unrelated to the spill response or reforms to offshore drilling. The latest version of the CLEAR Act:

    -     Imposes job-killing changes and higher taxes for onshore natural gas and oil production. It fundamentally changes leasing onshore by the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management, which affects not just leasing for natural gas and oil, but also for renewable energy including wind and solar. Forest Service and BLM leasing are shoved into the three new agencies that are replacing the former Minerals Management Service (MMS).

    -     Creates over $30 billion in new mandatory spending for two programs that have nothing to do with the oil spill (the Land and Water Conservation Fund and the Historic Preservation Fund). In the version of the bill headed to the House floor, Democrats added brand new language that expressly allows this $30 billion to be earmarked by the Appropriations Committee.

    -     Raises taxes by over $22 billion in ten years – with the taxes eventually climbing to nearly $3 billion per year. This is a direct tax on natural gas and oil that will raise energy prices for American families and businesses, hurt domestic jobs, and increase our dependence on foreign oil. This tax only applies to U.S. oil and gas production on federal leases – giving an advantage to foreign oil and hurting American energy jobs.

    -     Requires the federal takeover of state authority to permit in state waters, which reverses sixty years of precedent. The mismanagement, corruption and oversight failures of the federal government are being used as justification to expand federal control by seizing management from the states.

    -     Allows 10% of all offshore revenues – an amount possibly as high as $500 million per year – to be spent on a new fund controlled by the Interior Secretary to issue ocean research grants (ORCA fund). There is no requirement that the fund is used for the Gulf region or anything related to oil spills or offshore drilling. These funds can be earmarked.

    -     Establishes “marine spatial planning” regulatory authority – which allows for ocean zoning that could lead to restrictions on fishing, energy production and even onshore activities such as farming. This vague new regulatory authority could cost fishing jobs, energy jobs, manufacturing jobs, farming jobs, and many more jobs that may impact waterways that drain into the ocean.

    * The bill includes unlimited spill liability for offshore operators, which could effectively eliminate independent producers from operating offshore if they cannot obtain insurance policies to cover their operations. According to an independent study from IHS Global Insight, “by 2020 an exclusion of the independents from the Gulf of Mexico would eliminate 300,000 jobs and result in a loss of $147 billion in federal, state, and local taxes from the Gulf region over 10 years.”

    * Democrat leaders also deleted a provision adopted without objection in the House Natural Resources Committee just two weeks ago to establish a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the oil spill – a provision that has also passed a Senate Committee in a bipartisan vote.

###

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« Reply #2 on: July 29, 2010, 02:17:54 pm »

Also see: http://globalgulag.freesmfhosting.com/index.php/topic,201.0.html
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« Reply #3 on: July 30, 2010, 10:05:04 am »

The CLEAR Act of Another Federal Land Grab
http://farmwars.info/?p=3394
July 21, 2010
Cassandra Anderson
Morphcity.com

U.S. Representative Louie Gohmert (R-TX) addressed Congress on July 15th to report the Natural Resources Committee’s passage of HR 3534, the Consolidated Land, Energy and Aquatic Resources Act (CLEAR Act) of 2009. Congressman Gohmert said that the bill was to “deal with the disaster in the Gulf of Mexico” but it contains plans for the federal government to acquire land and was introduced in 2009.


The CLEAR Act is ambiguous so if the bill is passed, federal agencies will determine how it is implemented and how the land will be used.(1)

Congressman Gohmert pointed out that a portion of the CLEAR Act contains a provision for the federal government to spend $900 million a year to purchase private land over the next 30 years, for a grand total of $27 billion dollars over 3 decades. Gohmert noted that the federal government already owns or manages about 30% of the land in America, most of it in the western states. He said that the federal government has failed to maintain the federal and national parks that it already controls and is $3.7 billion behind in basic maintenance costs, according to one report. When land is federalized, it is taken off of the tax payroll.

He went on to say that when the federal government acquires land, it makes promises to generate revenue but then fails to utilize the resources; an example is timber, as logging is prohibited in most federal lands. Mr. Gohmert then showed a graph of how much money the federal government has spent to acquire more land over the last few years:

2008 $100 million

2009 $150 million

2010 $300 million

Gohmert was incredulous that the federal government intends to raise its purchasing allocations to $900 million a year for the next 30 years and questioned “how in the world does that make sense”?

It makes perfect sense when the objectives of the UN’s Agenda 21 are understood, as Agenda 21 is the overarching blueprint for depopulation and total control from the international level all the way down to the individual level, using the environment as the excuse. Most people are unaware that one of Agenda 21 Sustainable Development’s goals is to make 50% of America into ‘Wildlands’ that are off-limits to humans and to herd people into ‘Smart Growth’ cities. Almost all wealth is derived from land and its resources. The more land the federal government owns, the more control they have. Less than 6% of America is considered developed (with roads and buildings) but the federal government is devoted to reducing these developed areas.(2)

The federal government has expanded its expense account to purchase more private land following the burst of the housing and real estate bubble that they created, and at a time when property is cheap. When Bill Clinton was in the White House he authorized a study called the Gap Analysis which identified all privately owned land in America and this is the target for takeover by the federal government and UN Biosphere Reserves, per Dr. Michael Coffman.

The Constitution provides for the federal government to exercise authority over ten square miles in Washington, D.C. and places for needful buildings like forts, arsenals and dock yards. Nowhere does the Constitution give the federal government authority to regulate conservationism, forestry and wildlife.

Watch this short video introduction about the Wildlands Project by Dr. Michael Coffman:


Wayne Hage, author of “Storm Over Rangelands, Private Rights in Federal Lands” meticulously documented how the eastern financiers (bankers, railroad magnates and wealthy cattle ranchers), over 100 years ago, used federal lands in the western states to control resources that include minerals, timber and hydroelectric sites. In modern times, oil may also be included. There is an abundance of natural resources in the western states, but the resources are locked up, through conservation measures to prevent prosperity. And to prevent energy independence.

Congressman Gohmert said that the Obama Administration doesn’t like to lease land for drilling and gave an example of Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Department of Interior, rejecting bids and returning checks to oil companies for drilling in Utah, Wyoming and Colorado, which could have prevented the need for deep water drilling. He also said that uranium mining is off-limits in America and that 90% of uranium used in nuclear energy plants is imported. Gohmert mentioned that Obama is advocating Spain’s ‘green’ energy model for wind and solar development that has proven to be an economic disaster.(3)

The CLEAR Act’s funding for private property purchase by the federal government is just one part of the machinery that is overtaking America’s private land. An example of another federal land grab method was in the news just a few months ago when Senator Jim DeMint exposed Obama’s plan to takeover 10 million acres of land in the west.(4) Because the western states’ federal lands are already heavily regulated and there are existing plans for federalizing more land through ‘conservationism’, it is likely that the federal government intends to purchase private land that is resource rich (especially with oil, gas and water) in the midwestern and eastern states. Dr. Michael Coffman’s thorough analysis, “Taking Liberty”, is a must-see for anyone who owns property, especially the region-by-region section that explains how the federal government plans to take land in each area of the U.S. in order to control the resources and transform the property into Wildlands.(5)

Dr. Michael Coffman’s website is www.epi-us.com.

For more analyses on Agenda 21, visit Cassandra Anderson’s website at www.MorphCity.com.

1. http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/realityzone/UFNHR3534LandTrust.html

2. http://lib.store.yahoo.net/lib/realityzone/UFNEPAlanduse5percnt.html

3. http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=a2PHwqAs7BS0

4. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/mar/02/white-house-land-grab/

5. http://www.takingliberty.us/TLHome.html

Read the bill text here:

http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=h111-3534
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