The Energy Independence and Security Act, passed by 235-181, and now goes to the Senate.
-- Raise fuel economy standards to 35 miles per gallon by 2020;
-- Boost biofuel production to 36 billion gallons a year by 2022;
-- Repeal $13 billion in tax breaks to oil companies to fund renewable energy, biofuels and energy efficiency;
-- Force utilities to raise the portion of power from renewable sources like wind, geothermal and solar to 15% by 2022. Among other provisions.
Ryan called the bill "flawed" and "misguided" and said it "fails to increase the supply of many proven energy resources that exist in abundance in the U.S., raises taxes on American companies by more than $20 billion, and relies on a big-bureaucracy approach to energy policy that creates many opportunities for waste and abuse – and would likely increase costs for consumers."
He also said the "mammoth legislation" (it has 1,055 pages) "was only released yesterday -- offering little time for thorough examination."
Ryan said he supports the provision of the bill that requires electric suppliers, other than rural electric cooperatives and governmental entities, to provide 15 percent of their electricity using renewable energy resources by the year 2020. "This policy builds on Wisconsin’s leadership in this area," he said. (The state already requires 10 percent of electricity to come from renewable energy resources by 2011.) Ryan voted for this policy in August.
“As we’ve seen gas prices soar in recent weeks, it’s clearer than ever that we need to end our addiction to foreign oil imports. This bill won’t do that – and will actually make matters worse by raising taxes on U.S. oil and gas producers and tilting the competitive advantage to overseas producers. We need to develop renewable energy sources and improve energy conservation, while at the same time pursuing clean, conventional domestic fuel sources that will help lower energy costs. These approaches to energy security should complement one another – not work against each other,” Ryan said. “I was also disappointed to see this bill misuse taxpayer dollars to fund questionable ‘green pork’ tax credit bonds and other measures that open the door to waste and abuse."
Among its other "misguided policies," Ryan says the bill:
-- Wastes tax dollars on “green pork” – creating a new slush fund for governors and local officials in the form of billions in tax credit bonds, with only the loosest restrictions on how that money can be spent. For example, such bonds could be used to help complete an “indoor rainforest” project in Iowa, which is stalled for lack of local money, or to purchase hybrid snowmobiles for ski resorts in Aspen.
-- Creates “forestry conservation tax credit bonds” that appear to be a specific tax earmark. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, this $500 million provision applies to only one parcel of land in Montana that is owned by a large private timber company.
-- Repeals the domestic manufacturing deduction for five American companies that explore, extract and refine oil and natural gas – forcing these companies to pay more taxes than other American manufacturers. Raising taxes on domestic oil and gas production reduces incentives to produce here in the U.S. and could lead to increased oil imports, and higher oil and gas prices.
-- Creates dozens of new, often duplicative government programs.
-- Authorizes funds for clean and energy efficient technologies in other countries.