|Congressman Griffith's Weekly E-Newsletter 11.17.14
Monday, November 17, 2014 ‚Äď
Keystone XL Pipeline ‚Äď Solutions
On Friday, November 14, the House of Representatives again passed legislation (H.R. 5682) to approve the application for the Keystone XL pipeline, which has been slow-walked by President Obama and the State Department for more than six years. This is despite other pipeline projects requiring a Presidential Permit having taken 18 to 24 months to review and approve.
The House has now voted nine times to advance this landmark jobs and energy project. 31 House Democrats voted in favor of this bill, and the Senate is now expecting to consider a similar measure.
At a recent press conference in Myanmar, President Obama is reported as having said that his position hasn‚Äôt changed on the Keystone pipeline. As far as I am aware, however, he has not taken an opinion publicly, only saying that the proposed pipeline should be studied more. According to the New York Times, the President said in a major speech on the environment in the summer of 2013 that ‚Äú‚Ä¶he would approve the pipeline only if it would not ‚Äėsignificantly exacerbate‚Äô the problem of carbon pollution. He said the pipeline‚Äôs net effects on the climate would be ‚Äėabsolutely critical‚Äô to his decision.‚ÄĚ
Of course, the State Department in late January found ‚Äď again ‚Äď that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would not significantly worsen carbon pollution. And yet the President has not made a decision.
The pipeline has been studied, and the facts are in. It is time to build Keystone XL pipeline, creating jobs and a more energy-independent North America.
The House knows a solution to create jobs and energy is to work with our friends in Canada, and we have voted repeatedly to do so. Because there is a runoff election in Louisiana, the Senate may finally join the House in agreeing to this solution for jobs and energy. Then we‚Äôll see what the real opinion of the President is when he gets his chance to use his pen and veto this pro-jobs bill.
Obama Makes ‚ÄúWimpy‚ÄĚ Deal with China
Remember ‚ÄúWimpy‚ÄĚ from Popeye, who would gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today?
‚ÄúIn a surprise announcement Wednesday in Beijing, Mr. Obama and President Xi Jinping of China, the biggest emitter of carbon dioxide, released their targets for cutting greenhouse-gas emissions more than a decade down the road,‚ÄĚ reports the Wall Street Journal. ‚ÄúUnder the proposals, Chinese emissions of carbon dioxide would peak by around 2030, while the U.S. would cut emissions by more than a quarter between 2005 and 2025.‚ÄĚ
In other words, China is saying it will gladly cut the increase in its carbon footprint in a couple of decades in exchange for the United States enacting policies today that will continue damaging our economy.
And in 2030, new Chinese leadership may well decide this non-binding agreement is not to their liking.
Soon-to-be Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said of the proposals, ‚Äú‚Ä¶as I read the agreement, [it] requires the Chinese to do nothing at all for 16 years while these carbon regulations are creating havoc in my state and other states around the country.‚ÄĚ
I agree with him and others saying that this agreement is just the opening up of a new front on the Obama Administration‚Äôs war on affordable, reliable energy. The President‚Äôs policies are already hurting jobs and the American people. Mr. President, do you really need to add insult to injury by pretending the Chinese will curb the increase in their carbon output?
I will continue fighting these policies, and will fight to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency. I will support legislation that will help American businesses create jobs.
Obamacare ‚Äď An Update
According to The Hill, health insurance premium data provided to the Administration by June 30 was finally released on Friday, November 14. That‚Äôs right ‚Äď they had it for four months and let the public see it less than 12 hours before Obamacare open enrollment began. Not much time to review before trying to buy Obamacare insurance, is it?
Further, data shows premiums are going up for most Virginians.
In other words, if you like your Obamacare plan and wish to keep it, you may have to pay more in order to do so.
President Obama said last month that his policies were on the ballot in the November midterm elections. Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) said earlier this year about Obamacare, ‚ÄúI believe it‚Äôs a winner.‚ÄĚ
However, many Americans ‚Äď myself included ‚Äď strongly disagree.
As always, if you have questions, concerns, or comments, feel free to contact my office. You can call my Abingdon office at 276-525-1405 or my Christiansburg office at 540-381-5671. To reach my office via email, please visit my website at www.morgangriffith.house.gov.