Well, now we know. To no surprise, the biggest government boondoggle in modern times was narrowly passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, thanks to some good old-fashioned horse trading. By seven votes, the Waxman-Markey climate-change legislation squeaked out, and no doubt Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., is breathing a sigh of relief.

Turns out that one hold-out, Rep. Marcy Kaptur, D-Ohio, drives a hard bargain. Thanks to her middle-of-the-night deal making—and that of a host of others--HR2454 is on its way to the Senate. If it comes out intact, along with paying the de facto taxes imposed by the "cap and trade" scheme, taxpayers also get the privilege of funding, to the tune of $3.5 billion, Kaptur's new federal authority to make taxpayer-financed loans for economic development and renewable energy projects in Ohio.

Let's hope her new "power authority" at least requires a down payment on the money that it loans, a standard of practice that other quasi-government financial agencies like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac overlooked. I wonder what the taxpayers' rate of return on our $3-5 billion investment will be?

In the wee hours of the night, when Americans were tossing and turning, thanks to worries about how they are going to pay their bills at the end of the month, common sense was horse-traded away. A 310-page amendment, no doubt to entice hold-outs to vote "aye," was attached to the bill that is supposedly going to ensure that, for the first time in 4 billion years, the Earth's climate will not change.

In Texas everybody knows that if you don't like the weather just wait a day, because it will be totally different tomorrow. I hope before any climate-change bill is signed into law we can get Texas' weather just the way we want it, for good.

One energy success story is clean-burning natural gas. Technology developed by visionaries, not inside-the-Beltway, so-called experts, has paved the way for responsible production of this clean burning fuel.

Drilling for natural gas found in places once deemed unreachable is now common place across the country. In fact, America is so rich in natural gas that, with the sound management of the fields that is occurring today, our country could produce almost as much clean energy as we consume—if we wanted to. That is the definition of energy independence to me.

--Elizabeth Ames Jones

About the author: Elizabeth Ames Jones is a member of the Texas Railroad Commission. She can be contacted at commissioner.elizabethjones@rrc.state.tx.us and 877-228-5740.