Without a doubt the Energy Bill is one big nightmare for environmentalists and it will reap benefits for all of the energy industries. The WaPo says it all with there headline…
Last month’s Supreme Court decision expanding the power of local governments to seize private homes sparked a bipartisan backlash in Congress. The House overwhelmingly passed a resolution declaring “grave disapproval,” and some of Capitol Hill’s staunchest liberals and conservatives agreed to push for stricter limits on eminent-domain powers.
But that rarely seen consensus on property rights quickly melted away in the fine print of the energy bill that Congress passed yesterday. The bill gave the federal government new eminent-domain powers to clear paths for power lines — a long-standing demand of the nation’s electric utilities. The utilities said they were being thwarted by not-in-my-back-yard opposition, so the politicians came to their rescue.
The provision was just one example of how the energy bill, touted as a way to reduce dependence on foreign oil or moderate gasoline prices, has been turned into a piñata of perks for energy industries.
“Every industry gets their own little program,” said Myron Ebell of the free-market Competitive Enterprise Institute. “There’s pork in there for everybody.”
The bill exempts oil and gas industries from some clean-water laws, streamlines permits for oil wells and power lines on public lands, and helps the hydropower industry appeal environmental restrictions. One obscure provision would repeal a Depression-era law that has prevented consolidation of public utilities, potentially transforming the nation’s electricity markets.
If you’re not nauseated yet, you can read the rest here.
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