What: All Issues : Government Checks on Corporate Power : Utility Industry : H.R 6. Energy Policy/Vote to Instruct House Conferees to Drop Any Provisions in the Energy Conference Report Which Would Weaken Clean Air Standards.
 Who: All Members
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H.R 6. Energy Policy/Vote to Instruct House Conferees to Drop Any Provisions in the Energy Conference Report Which Would Weaken Clean Air Standards.
house Roll Call 598     Oct 30, 2003
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Conservative

One of President Bush's major domestic priorities has been to reform the nation's energy policies. In early 2001, Vice President Cheney, in concert with a number of highly placed energy industry representatives, drafted a comprehensive energy policy which would, among other things, encourage the domestic production of oil by creating new tax breaks for oil producers. The original energy plan, however, was defeated in Congress in 2001 and 2002 in large part because the policy included language, which Democrats opposed, to open Alaska's National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), a pristine area of wilderness along Alaska's coast, to oil drilling operations. In 2003, the administration dropped the ANWR provisions from its energy plan and the House and Senate subsequently adopted the proposal, albeit in different forms, earlier in the congressional session. To reconcile differences between the House and Senate versions of the legislation, a conference committee was convened to produce a final legislative product (a conference report). In an effort to influence the policy debate within the conference committee, Congresswoman Johnson (D-TX) motioned to instruct House conferees to drop any provisions from the conference report that would weaken the Clean Air Act's anti-smog requirements. Progressives supported Johnson's motion because, in their view, the Clean Air Act should not be modified in order to grant oil producers more leeway in generating air pollution. In the view of Progressives, a more responsible approach to alleviate the nation's demand for oil was to promote the research and development of alternative energy sources such as solar and wind power. Conservatives voted against the motion to instruct because, in their view, expanding domestic oil operations was necessary to promote economic growth and reduce the dependence of the U.S. on Middle Eastern oil. On a vote of 182-232, the Johnson motion was defeated and House conferees were not instructed to drop provisions in the energy conference report which would weaken clean air regulations.

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