27
Jul
2005

Tell Your Senators and Representatives to Vote NO on the Energy Bill

In the wee hours of the morning yesterday, House and Senate negotiators agreed on an energy bill that does not meaningfully address our energy challenges. To make matters worse, this compromise bill will do real harm to our public lands, and to the environment generally, especially in oil and gas producing states. Despite the fact that the language of the agreement - over 1,700 pages long - has only recently become available, the bill's supporters are hoping to schedule votes on the flawed legislation by the end of this week. They hope to get it to President Bush before legislators leave for their August recess. We need your help immediately to stop this bill from moving forward so quickly.

To take action immediately, click here:
http://ga1.org/campaign/finalenergy/

BACKGROUND

This energy bill is appallingly flawed. It gives the oil and gas industry exemptions from bedrock environmental laws that were designed to protect our land, waters and communities. It exempts oil and gas construction activities from the Clean Water Act, and it creates a loophole in the Safe Drinking Water Act that allows oil and gas companies to inject fluids laced with contaminants into oil and gas wells that penetrate underground aquifers. It also makes it easier to exclude a broad range of oil and gas drilling activities from the National Environmental Policy Act - a law that is designed to ensure balance, common sense, and openness in federal decision making. Although the bill does not - for now - authorize oil drilling in the Arctic Refuge, it does require that another Arctic area with important wildlife values - Alaska's National Petroleum Reserve - be completely sacrificed for oil and gas development.

The bill is also a financial disaster for taxpayers - although not for industry. The bill showers the electricity, coal, nuclear, natural gas and oil industries with at least $8.5 billion in tax breaks and billions more in loan guarantees and other subsidies. And instead of moving us forward toward a clean and sustainable energy future, the final version of the bill dropped provisions that would have required utilities to generate at least 10 percent of their electricity through renewable fuels by 2020, and that would have required oil savings of one million barrels by 2015.

Just as outrageous is the process through which this bill is moving forward. The bill's supporters are asking Congress to vote without giving it adequate time to thoughtfully review the fifteen hundred page bill. To ask our legislators to rush though a bill of this magnitude is wrong and irresponsible. Our representatives, and the American people, deserve better.

Your input is needed: http://ga1.org/campaign/finalenergy/

Tell your senators and representatives that Americans deserve a better energy bill. Ask your legislator to take the necessary time to really evaluate this bill's shortcomings and to do what it takes to fix it. And tell them that if asked to vote now, he or she must vote no.

Sample Letter

Use this link - http://ga1.org/campaign/finalenergy/ - to send a message from our website. To send your own message, use the text below. You can look up contact information for your Senators and Representatives at http://wilderness.org/lookup

A sample letter is below.

Subject line: Please vote NO on energy bill, HR 6

Dear:

I am writing you today about the energy bill, which you may be called to vote on this week. This legislation should be a roadmap for our nation's energy security and independence. Instead, it provides billions in taxpayer dollars as subsidies to mature, highly profitable multi-national corporations. It also would allow those corporations to ignore important environmental laws that protect our land, air, water and communities.

Instead of investing in technologies that could lessen our dependence on oil, this bill would risk the environment of vast areas in the West to for the purpose of exploration and development that cannot significantly reduce our dependence on foreign oil. Our country must do better than this, and your constituents deserve better than this.

I understand that this legislation is over 1,700 pages long. Surely few in the Congress have had a chance to read it, much less fully understand what it contains. Rushing to vote on this now precludes thoughtful consideration and the opportunity for the public to weigh in on it.

Please take the time to find out what is in it before you vote. I feel certain that once you are thoroughly briefed, you will vote No on H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2005.

The Congress can and must do better than this to preserve America's energy future!

Sincerely,



http://www.wilderness.org
1615 M St, NW Washington, DC 20036 1.800.THE.WILD action@tws.org
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