Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Connecting The Dots

In the Rust Belt, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 isn't popular:

“We believe this bill has moved at a rushed pace that has not allowed for full debate of provisions that are critical to the steel industry, which was clearly underscored by the fact that the bill passed in the House by only seven votes,” said Thomas J. Gibson, AISI president and chief executive officer. “The bill, as passed, will need important modifications as it moves through the Senate. We can say with certainty that if this bill is enacted as it presently stands, U.S. steelmakers and our workers will be at a significant competitive disadvantage in the global marketplace. Several modifications must be made to achieve the bill’s stated purpose of avoiding job loss and emission migration to overseas markets.”

The steel industry is unhappy, which makes a review of the congressional roll call an illuminating exercise. Jason Altmire, whose district includes part of the Steel Valley, voted no. So did Dennis Kucinich (Cleveland). However, one of the districts in Cleveburgh did support the bill. Listen to Tim Ryan explain his decision.

Now read what Ryan said, at the Sustainable Energy Forum, a few days before his vote:

“The purpose is to plug Youngstown and the Mahoning Valley into the green revolution that is coming,” said U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-17 Ohio. “We want to make sure that we’re not only doing the best research in the world but also converting that research into advanced manufacturing and opportunities for average people to participate with. … That’s what this is all about -- converting this research into jobs for the middle class in this country.” ...

... “I actually think we‘re ahead of the curve. We have the research institutions and we have the manufacturing legacy to convert whatever the latest technology is to a product,” the congressman said. “That’s why there are so many researchers here today, because we have something that a lot of areas in this country don’t have, the ability to make these products, and that’s how we’re going to benefit from the green revolution.”

I'll allow you to draw your own conclusions.

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