As the first female Speaker of the House, Representative Nancy Pelosi, D-California was listed as the major sponsor of House bill 3221, the bill that would become the energy bill for 2007. The bill had 18 cosponsors, most who are leaders within the Democrat-controlled Congress and who represent numerous sectors across the country (“Library of Congress”, 2007). The bill is an omnibus action to try to amend numerous parts of American law in an attempt to reduce American reliance on foreign oil and to create renewable energy resources.
The proposed legislation has a plethora of provisions ranging from an expiration date for the tax inventive associated with buying hybrid vehicles to tax credits for use of solar panels. Some of the key provisions of the bill as identified by the Congressional Research Service, a nonpartisan group that works for Congress as a branch of the Library of Congress are:
“Green Jobs Act of 2007 – Amends the Workforce Investment Act of 1998 to direct the Secretary of Labor to: (1) establish an energy efficiency and renewable energy worker training program; (2) collect and analyze labor market data to track workforce trends resulting from energy-related initiatives under this Act; and (3) award National Energy Training Partnerships Grants to community based nonprofit organizations to carry out training programs that lead to economic self-sufficiency and develop an energy efficiency and renewable energy industries workforce.
International Climate Cooperation Re-engagement Act of 2007 – Establishes in the Department of State an Office of Global Climate Change to be headed by an Ambassador-at-large with the primary responsibility of advancing U. S. goals for reducing global greenhouse emissions and for addressing the challenges posed by global climate change. Requires: (1) the U. S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to support policies and programs in developing countries that promote clean and efficient energy technologies; (2) the Secretary of Commerce to direct the United States and Foreign Commercial Service to promote U.
S. exports in clean and efficient energy technologies and to direct the International Trade Administration (ITA) to encourage private sector trade and investment in clean and efficient energy technologies; (3) the Director of the Trade and Development Agency to fund projects for using clean and efficient energy technologies; and (4) the President to provide assistance to the Interagency Working Group to support a clean energy technology exports initiative. (HR 2231, 2007)
It further tries to micromanage the operations of federal agencies, by attempting to make force agencies to purchase light and medium sized passenger cars that are fuel efficient and have been designated by the Environmental Protection Agency as low greenhouse gas emitting vehicles and requires the Department of the Interior to conduct a minimum of 550 audits of federal leases to oil and gas companies in fiscal year 2009 (Project Vote Smart, 2007). The bill is incredibly broad based.
It requires oil and gas companies operation within the United States to return to the land to its pre-drilling state and eliminate any water pollution caused by the drilling process; authorizes the spending of $850 million for mass transportation including $100 million for transportation in none urban areas; and creates a definition for electrical suppliers and then requires them to have at least 15 percent of their electricity come from renewable resources by 2020 (Project Vote Smart, 2007).
The bill instructs the Secretary of State to work with other international organizations to promote greener activities worldwide and create an International Clean Energy foundation to assist other countries in their efforts against global warming and amends the Small Business Administration regulations to provide financial assistance to companies that reduce their energy consumption by at least 10 percent and provide renewable resources (HR 2231, 2007).
The bill provides for the establishment of several different research groups to look for sources of renewable energy including wind turbines, geo-thermal and solar power research (Project Vote Smart, 2007) It instructs the director of FEMA to study the effects of global climate change on FEMA procedures and disaster preparedness techniques as well as creating a commission to study how global climate change ahs affect water use and availability and directs the Architect of the Capitol to prepare a report regarding the installation of solar calls at Rayburn Office building and building an E85 fuel pumping stations.
(HR 2231, 2007). This bill feels like an attempt by Democrats to take anything that might possibly be good for the environment and stick it into one big package so that they can later claim anyone voting against the bill was opposed to cleaning up he environment or making the United States more energy efficient. It covers a huge amount of territory, modifying several federal agencies and attempts to direct the Secretary of State in her actions regarding global diplomacy, a function generally reserved to the President and the executive branch of government.
Furthermore, it micromanages everything from vehicle selection to the number of audits a federal agency must perform, but gives no indication of whether sufficient funding will be provided for these new requirements. It randomly allocated $850 million for transportation upgrades for mass transit systems without discussing that impact those mass transit systems may be making on the environment, even though recent studies in New York have indicated that mass transit in the form of the city’s diesel run buses may be contributing to the city’s air pollution problem.