Climate denial advances through Senate
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Senate passed the Energy Policy Modernization Act (S.2012). Prior to the vote, Friends of the Earth joined over 75 environmental and community organizations to oppose the bill because of provisions that would instruct federal agencies to disregard the scientific consensus that burning biomass for electricity has significant greenhouse gas emissions.
Other harmful provisions in the bill include expedited review for terminals to export liquefied natural gas overseas, subsidies for liquid coal and delaying the updating of furnace efficiency standards. The House passed a significantly different bill, the North American Energy Security and Infrastructure Act (H.R. 8), in December that Friends of the Earth also opposed.
Friends of the Earth Climate and Energy Program Director Benjamin Schreiber issued the following response to the passage of the Senate bill:
Pretending that biomass doesn’t come with carbon emissions is a lie—plain and simple. Congress should not force the federal agencies tasked with protecting our air and water into ignoring basic scientific realities. This is a most pernicious form of climate denial.
The biomass provisions in the Senate bill were not the only attack on public health and the environment. Expediting approval of liquefied natural gas terminals will increase fracking and poison communities. Even as the American people are mobilizing to demand fossil fuels stay in the ground, the U.S. Senate is listening to Big Oil and helping to send them overseas.