Congressional Energy Plan Takes our Nation Backward Statement of Sara Zdeb, Legislative Director

Congressional Energy Plan Takes our Nation Backward Statement of Sara Zdeb, Legislative Director

Sara Zdeb, 202-222-0728
Erich Pica, 202-222-0719

America needs a forward-looking energy plan that reduces our dependence on oil, safeguards the environment and tackles the pressing issue of global warming. The congressional energy plan that emerged from conference negotiations early this morning fails on all counts and more. Congress should reject this backward-looking energy bill.

We can have energy security and a clean environment, but the congressional energy bill delivers neither. The bill does nothing to set us on a path toward energy independence: it won’t make our cars go farther on a gallon of gas, and conferees removed even a modest, bipartisan proposal to reduce our oil imports by a million barrels a day.

Worse, the bill rolls back the clock on environmental protection, threatening 30 years of environmental progress. Indeed, the conferees cherry-picked the worst of both worlds, including the most harmful and controversial provisions from the House and Senate bills in the final report. The bill grants the oil and gas industry special exemptions from our clean water and safe drinking water laws. And it threatens America’s coastlines by allowing the federal government to take a seismic inventory of oil and gas reserves underneath protected offshore areas, paving the way for future assaults on a areas currently off limits.

Finally, the bill hands over billions in taxpayer dollars to America’s worst polluting industries while shortchanging renewable energy and energy efficiency—proven solutions that reduce our dependence on oil.

It didn’t have to be this way. Environmentalists, ranchers, taxpayer advocates and national security advocates have all urged a different energy future. Unfortunately, the conference committee didn’t listen. Congress should reject this bill.