Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Caught Ned-Handed

posted Oct. 17 2006 (yawn alert)

Joe welcomes a chance to compare his record on energy security with Ned’s. As best we can tell, the only thing Ned has done to this point to help make America less dependent on foreign oil to trade in his Lexus SUV for a hybrid at the start of the campaign so he could pretend he cares about the environment.

Moreover, with his energy plan, Ned has shown yet again he has no new ideas to offer – just more repackaged policies, most of which Joe has already proposed, and overheated rhetoric:

The Lamont Plan: “promote energy efficiency, alternative fuels and other renewable sources. He urged tax credits to help companies to buy new fuel-efficient equipment. He also set a goal for America to use one quarter of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.” [AP, 10/17/06]

The Lieberman Record: Last year, Joe joined with three of his Senate colleagues to write and introduce the Vehicles and Fuel Choices for American Security Act, also known as the Set America Free Act. Among other things, that bill would:

* Cut America’s oil consumption over ten years by 2.5 million barrels-per-day – roughly the amount of oil the US currently imports from the Middle East.
* Go on to cut consumption by 10 million barrels-per-day by 2031 – roughly half of current oil consumption in the US.
* Set rising targets for manufacturers to produce flexible-fuel, alternative-fuel, hybrid, plug-in hybrid, and fuel-cell vehicles, and institute loan guarantees, grants, and tax credits to promote sales of those vehicles;
* mandate the development of fuel-efficiency standards for heavy-duty vehicles
* eliminate the current tax break for purchases of heavy SUVs
* require the federal government to improve the fuel-efficiency of its vehicle fleets
* establish a program for increasing the use of fuel-saving tires
* institute a series of steps for increasing domestic production of ethanol fuel.

The Lieberman Record: In 2003, Joe wrote and introduced with Senator John McCain the Climate Stewardship Act, the first-ever bill to cut global warming emissions from all U.S. industrial sectors using a market-based system.

* By sparking a dramatic increase in energy efficiency and increasing the use of clean, renewable energy sources, the bill would reduce many dangers aside from global warming, including the risk of energy-caused recessions, our dependence on foreign oil, and health-impairing soot and smog.
* In February 2005, the Tellus Institute found that the bill would create a net in crease in US employment – adding 800,000 jobs by 2025 – and that the annual savings to consumers would reach $30 billion in 2020.
* Joe and John McCain have forced the Senate to vote on their bill twice. They will reintroduce the bill next year and keep forcing votes until it passes.

Can Ned beat that? No, of course he can’t. So he’s left copying Joe ’s ideas and calling for the very policies that Joe is already working to put in place.

And in Ned’s so-called “Plan for Change,” which he offered last Wednesday, Ned offered no new ideas and says he supports ideas that Joe has already championed and fought for in the Senate:

Lamont Claims: "It is dangerous to be buying billions worth of oil from a region of the world that is mired in conflict. In ending oil imports from the Middle East, America could deny adversaries the wherewithal they use to harm us. In addition, a reduction in dependence on oil would reduce global warming, protect the environment and make our country safer."

Fact: Sounds good, but also sounds familiar. A year ago, in a speech at Georgetown University, Joe Lieberman said nearly the exact same thing.

"[T]oday we must depend for our oil on a global gallery of nations that are politically unstable, unreliable, or just plain hostile to us. . . . Doing nothing about our oil dependency will make us a pitiful giant – like Gulliver in Lilliput – tied down by smaller nations and subject to their whims. And we will have given them the ropes and helped them tie the knots." [Speech Delivered by Senator Joe Lieberman at Georgetown University, October 7, 2005]

Lamont Claims: "[A] reduction in dependence on oil would reduce global warming, protect the environment and make our country safer."

Fact: Again, sounds good, but also sounds familiar. This summer, at a hearing before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, Joe said nearly the exact same thing.

"[I]n the process of making our cars, trucks, and busses more efficient and increasing the use of fuels derived from crops, [S. 2025, Lieberman's energy independence bill] would reduce greatly the amount of global warming pollution that our vehicles add to the atmosphere.”

Lamont Claims: I have “a new national energy strategy emphasizing efficiency, alternative fuels, and new technology which will be an economic engine for new jobs in Connecticut and the nation." I would “begin today to provide incentives for converting domestic assembly lines to manufacture highly efficient cars, transitioning the fleet to American made advanced technology vehicles, increasing consumer choice and strengthening the US auto industry.”

Fact: These proposals are already contained in the Vehicles and Fuel Choices for American Security Act (S. 2025) authored and introduced by Joe Lieberman in November 2005.

Lamont Claims: I would “invest in more efficient factories,” “encourage high performance building,” “increase use of energy efficient appliances,” “modernize electrical infrastructure,” and “expand renewable energy development.”

Fact: These proposals are already contained in several bills authored and introduced by Joe, such as the Vehicles and Fuel Choices for American Security Act (S. 2025), the Clean Energy Development for a Growing Economy Act (S. 2829), the Securing America’s Energy Independence Act (S. 2677), in the High Performance Green Buildings Act (S. 3591), the Enhanced Energy Security Act (S. 2747), in the Climate Stewardship and Innovation Act (S. 1151) and the Clean Power Act (S. 150).

Lamont Claims: “Lieberman voted for President Bush’s energy bill. He was the only Democrat from the Northeast to vote in support of the lobbyist-written bill, which gives away billions in tax breaks to energy companies.”

Fact: The Energy Policy Act included several things of crucial importance to Connecticut that Joe had been working to get for the state for years, such as:

1. Language calling on federal energy regulators to reconsider a plan called LICAP that would have saddled Connecticut consumers with a dramatic increase in electricity rates. Thanks to that language, the regulators went back to the negotiating table and found a solution that the Connecticut Consumer Counsel supports and that will save Connecticut consumers $800 million as compared to the original LICAP plan.
2. Large financial incentives that Lieberman had cosponsored to promote sales of the clean energy fuel cells that are manufactured in Connecticut.
3. New security measures for nuclear power to protect Connecticut residents from the risk of nuclear sabotage.

Joe also succeeded in stripping the Energy Policy Act of several things that would have been harmful to Connecticut and the environment in general:

* Lieberman personally blocked a provision that would have gutted the Clean Air Act and sent more out-of-state air pollution into Connecticut.
* Lieberman also helped strip a provision that would have shielded oil companies from liability for polluting groundwater in Connecticut.
* Lieberman succeeded in ensuring that this was the first energy bill since 2001 not to include language opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil drilling.
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Posted by: Eric Blankenbaker on 10/17/2006 at 4:50 PM

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has got to be one of the most "bipartisan" thingy that Joe LIE-man did - rip of the people with crooks from across the party line to give Big Oil record profits while gutting the environment.

3:14 AM  
Blogger NewLondonDem said...

Saying the energy bill was good because Lieberman helped kill LICAP is like saying waterboarding is good because it doesn't cause organ failure...Oh wait, Lieberman said that, too.

Maybe Big Oil can buy Lieberman's vote, but Lieberman can't buy mine.

8:50 AM  

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