Rep. Whitfield (R-KY) calls his new bill the "Ratepayer Protection Act." The bill would let states put off submitting their own carbon emissions plans to the EPA until all lawsuits against the EPA's carbon emission plan are decided -- and surely no one would file a litany of frivolous lawsuits just to prevent carbon emissions plans from ever taking effect, would they? The bill would also allow states to refuse to submit plans or implement federal plans merely upon determining that those plans would adversely affect grid stability or "retail, commercial, or industrial ratepayers." See? You might have thought you were the "ratepayer" being "protected" by the bill, but alas, no -- when they say "ratepayers," they mean big electricity corporations. Of course they'll say "ratepayers like you" or "small businesses" when they talk to Fox News, but we know who butters their bread. So Public Citizen helps you tell your Congressfolk to reject the bill that should really be called the "Polluter Protection Act."
Meanwhile, the House has begun to hold hearings on a pair of bills that would undo some of the work we've done as a society to protect people from predatory and unsafe mortgages. H.R. 685 is the Mortgage Choice Act, and as soon as they put the word "choice" in the bill you know the "choice" isn't going to be for you. The bill would allow certain higher-fee mortgages to exclude the price of fees (including title insurance fees) from the cost of the loan, even though, novel idea, if you pay it, it's a cost. The other bill, H.R. 650, the Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act, would allow corporations to offer mortgages on manufactured houses with interest rates as high as 14%! That's not "preserving access," that's taking hostages -- they're saying, don't make me offer mortgages at reasonable rates, or this sector of the economy gets it! Americans for Financial Reform helps you oppose Congressional efforts to deregulate mortgages. Really, it's like they think we don't remember what crashed the economy.
Meanwhile, the League of Conservation Voters helps you tell Congress to extend solar power tax credits. That's right, the ITC (the Investment Tax Credit for solar power) will expire at the end of next year, because, apparently, only fossil fuel corporations and nuclear power corporations get tax credits that go on for-freaking-ever, while renewable power tax credits become hostage to some politician's 13-dimensional chess game every few years. Perhaps you're wondering why we're worrying about this now, more than a year and a half ahead of the ITC's expiration. Well, we're worrying about it because fossil fuel corporations are worrying about it, already trying to pressure Congressfolk to let the ITC expire, just as they're trying to pressure state legislators to make home solar panel users pay a sun tax on the absurd belief that they're "free riders." You have to wonder what the fossil fuel corporations have to fear. Well, you don't really have to wonder, if you know the solar power sector adds jobs ten times faster than the economy does overall.