Washington, DC -- Greenpeace today urged the Senate to deep six the deeply flawed $31 billion Energy Policy Act of 2003, demanding that they start over and deliver the American people a responsible energy bill that promotes clean, renewable energy technologies, safeguards our beaches and coasts from oil drilling hazards, helps solve global warming and safeguards Americans rights to safe, clean drinking water.
John Passacantando, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, stated, "Some in Congress declare that this bill is the ticket to American energy independence - instead they took a pledge of allegiance to special interest corporate lobbyists. Our elected leaders in Congress should be building a clean, renewable energy future for our country, but they have violated the trust of the American people and come up with a bill that is a fiscal and environmental nightmare."
The energy bill currently under consideration in the Senate is estimated to cost $140 billion over the next 10 years, and contains over $23 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for energy special interests. (Source: House Committee on Government Reform, Minority Office).
According to Passacantando, "If this bill passes, it will be one of the most fanatical cases of pork barrel politics in modern history. The Congressional leadership has chosen to line the pockets of campaign contributors in the oil and gas, coal and nuclear industries at the expense of our environment and American taxpayers."
Important elements of a sane energy policy for this nation are significantly MISSING from the Energy Policy Act of 2003, including:
Nothing to address global warming pollution, which is inherently linked to energy choices.
Nothing to increase the fuel efficiency of our automobiles.
In addition to the missing provisions, the Energy Policy Act of 2003 contains several provisions that will significantly undermine current environmental protections and hand out massive tax breaks to industry, including:
Shielding producers of the toxic fuel additive, MTBE, from liability lawsuits, forcing taxpayers to pick up an estimated $29 billion to clean up contaminated groundwater. (Title XV, Section 1502)
$9.2 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for the nuclear industry, including a $1.1 billion nuclear reactor in Idaho (Title VI, Section 651)
Additional oil and gas development on Padre Island National Seashore, TX, based on projected energy needs and technology from 1962. (Title III, Section 354) go to www.killthedrill.org to learn more about drilling threats)
Exempting all oil and gas construction activities from core provisions of the Clean Water Act and Safe Drinking Water Act. (Title III, Sections 327-328)
Weakening state control of coastal drilling activities under the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA). (Title III, Section 325)
$16.7 billion in tax breaks and subsidies for the oil and gas industry, including exemptions from royalty payments for offshore deepwater drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. (Title III, Section 314)
Provides $9.3 billion in tax breaks and subsidies to the coal industry.(Congressional Budget Office)
Providing price supports and $18 billion in federal loan guarantees for the development of the Alaska Natural Gas Pipeline. (Title III, Section 386)