Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Embarassing #???


May 20, 2009:
BLACKBURN: I do have a couple of questions I would like to ask Miss Matsui, if I may do so, on her amendment. I find the amendment such an interesting take on -- um -- and I do -- do look at this and see it as being very duplicative and redundant in its efforts. You know, I come from a family that has always participated enormously in conservation efforts, whether it was Farm Bureau 4-H Club or my mother with Garden Clubs of America. My mother received the Keep America Beautiful lifetime achievement award in 1997 for the work that she has done, starting programs like the gentlelady from California is mentioning in her bill. Now, we have wonderful not-for-profits that go about this work and she does reference them in her bill.

But these organizations, for decades have been planting trees. So, in addition to the U.S. Forest Service carrying out some of this good work, we have garden clubs all around the country. We have Boy Scout and Girl Scout clubs that work on Arbor Days, planting trees. So is it the gentlelady's intent that all of these organizations will be able to draw down this one-dollar-for-dollar match. Would they use that to grow their programs or would this have the unintended consequence of doing away with the corporate contributions that they receive, the charitable contributions they receive in order to help carry out those programs? Have we thought through what that would do to these not-for-profits who have for decades been engaged in this type of work? And I yield to the gentlelady for a response.

MATSUI: Yes, I'd like to respond. first of all, I really appreciate garden clubs also. And I think they really fill a wonderful place in our communities. The critical difference between my amendment and things like garden clubs, and the reason we need the amendment, is because utilities need to plant the right tree in the right place in order to get the kind of --

BLACKBURN: Reclaiming my time. So then the individuals that put a lot of work into these efforts, our assumption, the arrogance of an assumption by us in Congress would be that these volunteers do not plant the trees in the right place. And I just would have a tremendous amount of concern about what this would do to these organizations that put effort into carrying forth these programs, even begin these programs.

WAXMAN: Would the gentlelady yield?

BLACKBURN: Yes, I'll be happy to yield.

WAXMAN: I would think those groups would welcome this proposal. It is a voluntary one, it is not mandatory. They're doing the best job they can and I'm pleased to hear about your mother's involvement in it. They do a great service. They make our communities more livable. What this proposal would do is no mandate, but an option for local utility companies who want to reduce consumer energy bills, they can do it through tree planting. You got shade from trees, less electricity is used, so if a utility wants to do that, as I understand it, they have to match the money, and they know that they're helping their ratepayers save money. So I think groups, volunteer groups are great and they're doing the best they can but this would help and I think utilities would probably want to engage them in the activity.

BLACKBURN: I thank the chairman for the explanation and I reclaim my time. I think that as we look at taking a program that has been very successful in the not-for-profit sector and pulling that in, institutionalizing it and making it a government program that we need to be very careful about how we go about that. I would think that we would not want to take steps that are going to hurt the not-for-profit sector and their good work, diminishing the work they have done while we say global warming and fighting global warming and paying umbrage to global warming is the objective of the legislation we're bringing forward.

WAXMAN: Would the gentle lady yield --

BLACKBURN: I yield back the balance of my time.

WAXMAN: The chair will recognize himself. I would be interested in whether you think that faith-based initiatives have harmed the religious and volunteer groups that were doing great things in the community, running drug abuse programs, and other things that -- where they served a very worthwhile purpose and the government wanted them -- to have them do the work and that set of government agencies to do it. So I show you a different aspect of it. I hear what you're saying and I wouldn't want those nonprofit groups to be pushed out of the way at all. But I think this would expand it. We would have more opportunities for people to do things together. I hope we -- I just want to give you a different explanation.

The point has been missed

Dear Mr. G-Funk:

What a pleasure to hear from you. Thank you for contacting me to share your opinions regarding cap and trade. Hearing from constituents on issues of concern is important to our office and me as we work to represent our district.

As you know, in recent years there has been an ongoing debate in Congress on the best legislative method to limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere. One of these proposals known as "cap and trade," would set ceilings on the amount of greenhouse gases that may be emitted. Should this legislation become law it will create a cap and trade system that will require Americans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20 percent by 2020.

However, this government mandate would effectively tax energy producers for their carbon emissions, a tax which even proponents of cap and trade admit will most likely be passed onto consumers.

Additionally, the official budget revenue numbers for cap and trade may understate the actual revenue it will produce. The Wall Street Journal reported that Jason Furman, the White House Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, told a bipartisan group of Senate aides that the cap and trade indirect tax system could actually generate $1.3 trillion to $1.9 trillion between fiscal years 2012 and 2019. This cost for the typical Tennessean could be between $2100 to $3150 per person per year in higher energy costs. As a member on the House Committee of Energy and Commerce, I have serious concerns with the new mandates that are proposed in ACES and I have presented those concerns to my colleagues. Now is not the time for the U.S. to impose unilateral climate restrictions which will drive up energy costs for businesses and consumers, creating greater challenges for U.S. companies to compete with foreign businesses during a weakened economy.

By contrast, throughout my tenure in Congress, I have remained a leading advocate for drilling for American oil and gas, building more refineries to process fuel, expanding our nuclear and hydropower resources, developing alternative fuels and encouraging the production of more energy efficient vehicles. Since our economy will remain dependent on fossil fuels in the short term, Congress must increase domestic oil and gas exploration and development to keep pace with foreign demand. At the same time we must also focus on mid-range and long-term solutions that will promote energy independence within the next twenty years.

Please know that as the 111th Congress continues to address this issue I will keep your views in mind and continue working hard to reduce Tennessee families' financial burden from nearsighted government mandates.

Please know that I appreciate both your interest and time in contacting us on this issue.


Marsha Blackburn

Member of Congress


Where exactly does Rep. Blackburn address climate change?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Not surprising, but still funny

Liberty University bans College Dems
Posted: 06:23 PM ET

(CNN) – Liberty University, the evangelical school in Virginia founded by the late Rev. Jerry Falwell, is drawing heat Friday for its decision to revoke recognition of the College Democrats' chapter on campus.

According to the Lynchburg News & Advance, the school decided a week ago the organization "stood against the moral principles" held by the school and therefore could no longer be sanctioned.

Maria Childress, the staff adviser to the club, told the paper the school — which opposes abortion rights and gay marriage — had issues with the Democratic Party platform.

Childress says she was told by Mark Hine, the vice president of student affairs, that "'You can't be a Democrat and be a Christian and be a university representative.'"

The university did not return CNN's request for comment.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Part of the job isn't worth the job!

Congressman Marsha Blackburn on cap and trade, a.k.a. climate change mitigation...

"This isn't an energy bill, it is a tax bill plain and simple," Congressman Blackburn said. "It siphons thousands of dollars out of the family budget to fund $642 billion in new energy taxes. Instead of making energy more abundant and affordable, it will make it scarce and more expensive. Despite my colleagues promise of economic expansion through 'green jobs' this bill exports far more existing jobs than could realistically be replaced through non-existent technology. Millions of jobs will be lost. For all the money spent and jobs lost, we won't have a more secure environment or more abundant energy. At most, global temperatures are expected to drop a fraction of a degree over the next 90 years. This bill just isn't worth the taxes it will raise or the jobs it will cost."

What IS worth it, my dear?! Obviously nothing based on science.

Friday, May 15, 2009

"There's a gap in there..."

Does leave just a few unanswered questions? First of all, where do you stand on climate change, Congressman Marsha?