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We all enjoyed the joke Henry Waxman played on his … committee when he commissioned a speed reader to read the bill before the committee.

Buried in H.R. 2454, the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, which purports to create clean energy jobs, achieve energy independence, reduce global warming pollution and transition to a clean energy economy, is a little known provision to extend unemployment benefits to workers adversely impacted by global climate change.

Should you lose your job due to global climate change legislation, you will be eligible to receive up to 3 years of unemployment, 80% the monthly premium of your health coverage, job training, job search allowances not to exceed $1500, relocation allowances not to exceed $1500.

To get a flavor of some of the language …

“The Secretary  may, as appropriate, authorize supplemental assistance that is necessary to defray reasonable transportation and subsistence expenses for separate maintenance in a case in which training for a worker is provided in a facility that  is not within commuting distance of the regular place of residence of the worker.”

“ … 80 percent of the monthly premium of any  health insurance coverage that an adversely affected work er was receiving from such worker’s employer prior to the separation from employment described in section 425(b), to be paid to any health care insurance plan designated by the adversely affected worker receiving an allowance under this section.”

On page 761 of the 932-page bill is …



(1) ELIGIBILITY.—Payment of a climate change adjustment allowance shall be made to an adversely affected worker covered by a certification under section 425(b) who files an application for such allowance for any week of unemployment which begins on or after the date of such certification, if the following conditions are met:

(A) Such worker’s total or partial separation before the worker’s application under this
23 part occurred— (i) on or after the date, as specified in the certification under which the worker is covered, on which total or partial separation began or threatened to begin in the
adversely affected employment; (ii) before the expiration of the 2-year period beginning on the date on which the determination under section 425(d) was made; and (iii) before the termination date, if any, determined pursuant to section 425(d)(3).

(B) Such worker had, in the 52-week period ending with the week in which such total or partial separation occurred, at least 26 weeks of full-time employment or 1,040 hours of part time employment in adversely affected  employment, or, if data with respect to weeks of employment are not available, equivalent  amounts of employment computed under regulations prescribed by the Secretary. For the purposes of this paragraph, any week in which such worker— (i) is on employer-authorized leave for purposes of vacation, sickness, injury, maternity, or inactive duty or active duty military service for training; (ii) does not work because of a disability that is compensable under a workmen’s compensation law or plan of a State or the United States; (iii) had his employment interrupted in order to serve as a full-time representative of a labor organization in such firm; or (iv) is on call-up for purposes of active
9 duty in a reserve status in the Armed Forces of the United States, provided such active duty is ‘‘Federal service’’ as defined in section 8521(a)(1) of title 5, United States Code, shall be treated as a week of employment. (C) Such worker is enrolled in a training program approved by the Secretary under subsection (b)(2).


(5) WEEKLY AMOUNTS.—The climate change  adjustment allowance payable to an adversely affected worker for a week of unemployment shall be an amount equal to 70 percent of the average weekly wage of such worker, but in no case shall such amount exceed the average weekly wage for all workers in the State where the adversely affected worker resides.

(6) MAXIMUM DURATION OF BENEFITS.—An eligible worker may receive a climate change adjustment allowance under this subsection for a period of not longer than 156 weeks.


Who knew ?

Who knew that there was an unemployment extension in this bill and that provisions for additional training are also included.

And who cares?

Since your elected officials often show the discourtesy of not reading and debating the bill fully who, other than the lobbyists and advocates who helped craft the language of this bill, actually knows what the bill’s provisions may be when implemented by the “Secretary?” Or the interaction of the bill’s provisions with other Congressional legislation, state legislation and even the Administration’s signing orders? Not to mention the unintended consequences of the bill and subsequent modifying or amending legislation.

Buried in the dense prose are a number of benefits, privileges which pander to specific constituencies and special interests. Often worded in legalese to prevent the public from expressing outrage before the bill’s enactment. Noted above in red is one provision that specifically is designed to curry favor with the labor unions as appears to put service on the behalf of a labor union on a par with service to one’s country in the armed forces.

It’s your money …

The climate control bill is nothing but a giant tax surcharge on all energy production and goods produced in the United States – all based on imperfect science and the corrupt reporting of several political entitites with vested interests in the using climate-related legislation to advance their personal, professional and political interests.

This bill needs to be defeated, or at the very least, thoroughly vetted by the public. Considering the likelihood of the average citizen, let alone a legislator, reading and understanding the full bill and its implications, it is best to simply say NO when it comes to the bill’s passage.

flame For those who want to take a stab at reading the legislation, the  932-page bill is available here.

It’s your money. Tell your elected officials how you feel about an additional tax burden which will push many Americans over the edge into bankruptcy and convey unprecedented benefits to large unionized businesses. Remember, because of the federally-mandated climate restrictions on automobiles, those workers in the unionized auto industry meet all of the prime criteria of this legislation. 

Be well, be safe and take care of yourself and your family first.

-- steve


OneCitizenSpeaking: Saying out loud what you may be thinking …

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