In an edit board meeting with the Detroit News Thursday, Rep. John Dingell expressed urgency about getting an energy bill passed before the next presidential election because he thinks the next president is likely to be a Democrat.
Of course, Dingell won’t put it in so many words (he is a Democrat after all!), but what he fears is what a Democratic Congress will do on global warming with a Democratic president’s rubber stamp.
Dingell, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, leaves no doubt that his party has been taken over by Green extremists. The Democratic leadership is not his ally. Speaker Pelosi has already set up a special committee in the House to oversee GW hearings (chaired by Markey), and while Dingell is not sure of its legislative authority, it was obviously erected as an end run around him. Dingell thinks that it is only he – and Republicans – who stand between his party and radical, anti-auto legislation.
“It’s always been my goal to write a bill in the middle,” says the rep from Michigan’s 15th District, home of both Dearborn auto factories and green, university-town Ann Arbor. “If I’m going to write a fair bill, if I’m going to protect my industry, I’m going to need help from Republicans.”
Perhaps. But despite his disagreement with his own party, Dingell still believes global warming is a problem. The GOP does not. To that end, Dingell is proposing a 50-cent gas tax and a cap-and-trade system (rather than scapegoating autos with CAFÉ laws). I suspect Republicans would just as soon watch Democrats tear themselves apart over those poison pills.