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It’s Time to Admit Failure; Latest Energy Bill Revival Produces Even Worse Legislation

April 20, 2005

It’s Time to Admit Failure; Latest Energy Bill Revival Produces Even Worse Legislation

Statement by Joan Claybrook, President of Public Citizen

Note: The U.S. House of Representatives today began debating the energy bill.

Like hamsters on a wheel, the U.S. House of Representatives is running in place, proposing to subsidize with more than $22 billion the same 20th century energy technologies that pollute, are costly and crowd out new 21st century opportunities. House members likely will pass yet another – and markedly worse – version of an energy bill that has been debated and decried for more than four years.

Last fall’s corporate tax bill also included another $76 billion in subsidies for electric power, natural gas and oil companies that from 2001 to October 2004 contributed $73 million to federal candidates, 75 percent of which went to Republicans.

What is apparent is that our members of Congress aren’t listening to the public; rather, they’re intent on rewarding the very polluting energy companies that are now making record profits. Everyone but our lawmakers recognizes the need for investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation. Instead, we are stuck with the same old legislation that caters to special interests, rewards oil and gas giants that already benefit from record-breaking profits, and pushes the United States down an unsustainable and doomed course.

We urge the House to vote against a bill that is loaded with taxpayer subsidies for polluting energy sources, repeals a vital electricity consumer protection law (the Public Utility Holding Company Act), lacks any significant fuel economy standards and fails to acknowledge that now is the time to embark on a new path for our energy future.