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NTU Urges House to Support Amendments that Reduce Waste, Increase Accountability

by Nan Swift / /

(This is the 2nd vote alert regarding H.R. 5055.)

As the House considers H.R. 5055, the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act for Fiscal Year 2017, NTU urges all Representatives to support initiatives that reduce expenditures, promote a true “all of the above” energy policy, and uphold free-market enterprise. To that end, we urge all Representatives to vote “YES” on the following limitation amendments:

  • Mullins (R-OK) Midnight Regulations Amendment: This amendment would prohibit funding for major rules or regulations that have an economic impact of $100 million or more each year, preventing the enactment of costly “midnight regulations” during the lame duck period (November 8, 2016-January 20, 2017).

  • Walker (R-NC) Unauthorized Appropriations Amendment: This amendment would reduce funding for unauthorized nondefense accounts to Fiscal Year 2016 spending levels. This spending freeze would save taxpayers more than $185 million and bring increased scrutiny to the growing problem of unauthorized federal spending.

  • Gosar (R-AZ) Social Cost of Carbon Amendment (#218): This amendment would prohibit funds from being used to promulgate regulations or rules based on “social cost of carbon” analysis. Social cost of carbon is a notoriously unreliable and speculative metric by which to justify burdensome regulations.

  • Gosar (R-AZ) FOIA Amendment (#225): This amendment would prohibit funds from being used to execute an April 15, 2009 White House Counsel’s Office memo, purported by the Department of Energy (DOE) Inspector General and government watchdog groups to interfere with agency fulfillment of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests thereby limiting taxpayer access to information.

  • Gosar (R-AZ) 21st Century Clean Transportation Plan Amendment (#226): This amendment would prohibit the DOE from enacting the President’s 21st Century Clean Transportation Plan. The plan would double-down on past failed policies with increased funding for high-speed rail, the National Infrastructure Investment program (TIGER grants, targeted at least twice by the Government Accountability Office for problematic project selection procedures), and the types of government-backed research and investment that have repeatedly hurt taxpayers and distorted markets. The plan assumes a $10-per-barrel tax on oil that would raise costs for energy producers and consumers.

  • Meadows (R-NC) Army Corps of Engineers Contracting Amendment: This amendment would save taxpayers money by addressing contract award inconsistencies that too often result in the lowest price bid being found technically unacceptable. Requiring careful documentation would increase transparency and accountability of the source selection process.

  • Brat (R-VA) Title 17 Loan Guarantee Amendments (2): These amendments would protect taxpayers by reducing their exposure to risk from the DOE’s Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program and its numerous high-priced failures such as Solyndra and Beacon Power. One amendment would address the source of funding by prohibiting the DOE from issuing any new or renewed loan guarantees in FY17. The other would cap the maximum cost share of loan guarantees at 50 percent (down from the current 80 percent). The DOE has a poor track record when it comes to picking winners and losers in the “green energy” marketplace. In addition, billions in taxpayer funds have gone to back massive loans to international corporations like Ford and Nissan who shouldn’t be getting taxpayer handouts.

Roll call votes on the above amendments to H.R. 5055 will be included in our annual Rating of Congress and “YES” votes will be considered the pro-taxpayer position.