Dear Rep. Hastert: No Energy Legacy, Please

By August 16, 2007Energy

From the WSJ’s Washington Wire blog, commenting on former House Speaker Dennis Haster’s retirement plans:

[Hastert] wants to add one “last hurrah” to his career: enacting climate change, energy legislation with the woman who took the gavel from him, Nancy Pelosi of California.

It is a remarkable convergence of interests, and given the splits among Democrats over energy policy, the Illinois Republican could be a spoiler for Pelosi or an invaluable asset with access to the White House and an understanding of the difficulties of her office, having been there himself.

Hastert wants more emphasis on new energy production as well as carbon dioxide controls in the bill, which is scheduled to be marked up this fall by the House Energy and Commerce Committee on which he sits. But weary of partisanship and having announced his retirement today in Illinois, this 65-year-old lawmaker sees the spoiler role as a dead-end at this stage of his 22-year-career. And instead Hastert seems most intent on building partnerships with committee Democrats and cashing in chits that open doors for both parties to high officials in the Bush administration, such as Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson.

Oh, Speaker Hastert, please do not try to become Arnold Schwarzenegger, please, please, please. Our economy cannot bear another one.

The House energy bill is horrible, absent any acknowledgement that the United States needs more energy supply. Compromise with those who regard domestic energy production as anathema will only damage the economy — your constituents, Representative Hastert. Blocking a harmful energy bill is not being a spoiler, but rather an economic savior.

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