White House threatens veto of energy bill


The Detroit News – December 4, 2007

I can’t figure out wether this is incompetence on the part of the House and Senate, convenient forgetfulness, or excuse making on the part of the Administration.

A few days ago, I wrote on the compromise that would have allowed an increase in the CAFE requirements for automobiles. You can read that post at:

New Fuel Standards Are Poised to Advance

It appears that the White House is threatening a veto of the bill that would increase fuel standards to 35 mpg by 2020. The bill evidently doesn’t cover some nuances that the Administration feels are necessary and is going to throw it back to the Hill and tell them to get this fixed. How did the Congress forget to include this stuff? Is the President just trying to find a convenient way to get out of signing it?

Was this just a convenient way for some on the Hill to put out a bill that they knew was incomplete to force the veto? While that would have been fairly advanced politics and dastardly thinking, it has been done before. Either side could have made the logic to put out a defective bill and guarantee a veto and then being able to go to their constituents and criticizing someone else. This could have been a good ploy from almost anyone:

Conservative: “Of course, I voted for the bill but with the liberals in charge of the Hill, they didn’t put all of the details that needed to be in the bill. I knew it was defective and I tried to convince them to change it but since I knew the President would veto it, I voted for the bill and then prevented the over-ride of the veto. We will get this fixed next session if you just throw out those liberals and remember if you put a liberal into the Presidency then we wouldn’t have this check and balance, so vote for [deleted].”

Liberal: “We put a perfectly good bill in front of the President but since he is in the back pocket of the energy companies he vetoed it. We need a President that is concerned for the environment so don’t vote for [deleted] since that is just more of the same – vote for [deleted] and we will fix the world.”

Am I too cynical or are politicians just incompetent?

The White House threatened to veto a bill to improve energy efficiency Monday, putting in serious doubt the fate of the first increase in fuel economy standards in more than two decades.

But the bill’s failure to identify which federal agency would be responsible for setting fuel efficiency and emissions standards may threaten its passage.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has authority to set CAFE standards, but in April the U.S. Supreme Court said the Environmental Protection Agency has the authority to regulate vehicle carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act. Sorting out that discrepancy is a critical task for automakers.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Brighton, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, described the fuel economy deal as “the best of the worst set of options.” … “This bill seems to be a swing and a miss.”

You can read the entire article here.

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