"We'll have time to look at it and determine whether or not our grid needs to be modernized. I happen to think it does, and have said so all along."
- George Bush, 8/14/03 [LINK]
SAN DIEGO - President Bush said he will order a review of why so many states were hit by a massive power blackout Thursday and said he suspects the nation's electrical grid will have to be modernized. [LINK]
In June of 2001, Bush opposed and the congressional GOP voted down legislation to provide $350 million worth of loans to modernize the nation's power grid because of known weaknesses in reliability and capacity. Supporters of the amendment pointed to studies by the Energy Department showing that the grid was in desperate need of upgrades as proof that their legislation sponsored by U.S. Rep. Sam Farr (D-CA) should pass.
Unfortunately, the Bush Administration lobbied against it and the Republicans voted it down three separate times: First, on a straight party line in the U.S. House Appropriations Committee, then on a straight party line the U.S. House Rules Committee, and finally on a party line on the floor of the full House [Roll Call Vote #169, 6/20/01].
As AP reported at the time, the amendment would have amendments that would have doubled the bill's money for energy assistance for the poor to $600 "provided $350 million to support loans to improve the capacity of transmission grids. 'It's pure demagoguery,' House Majority Whip Tom DeLay, R-Texas, said in a brief interview regarding the Democratic amendments. 'If Democrats had an energy policy, they'd have had one in the last eight years. They have no credibility on this issue whatsoever. They are responsible for the energy crunch more than anybody I know.' Spotlighting the high political stakes, House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo., took the unusual step of issuing a written statement about the committee's energy votes. He said President Bush and Republicans are 'committed to helping the Big Energy special interests' and accused them of obstruction." [AP, 6/14/01].
Friday, August 15, 2003
Bush lied, circuits fried