Public Citizen Urges Senators to Oppose Passage of Energy Policy Act (S. 517) Due to Harmful Provisions

April 8, 2002

Public Citizen Urges Senators to Oppose Passage of Energy Policy Act (S. 517) Due to Harmful Provisions

Flawed amendments of energy bill would hurt consumers and the environment while lending support to giant energy corporations

WASHINGTON, D.C. ? With the Senate expected to renew debate over the massive energy legislation (S. 517 ? Energy Policy Act of 2002) when it returns from recess, more than 90 grassroots organizations nationwide, including Public Citizen, today urged senators to oppose the industry-friendly bill.

While amendments that would have benefited consumers, taxpayers, public health and the environment have failed, other provisions have passed which would directly benefit giant energy corporations. In a letter to senators, the groups highlighted several of the most flawed portions of the bill as seen by consumer, public interest and environmental organizations.

“The bill buys a one-way ticket to Enronworld by repealing the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA), the federal government?s most important mechanism to protect electricity consumers,” said Public Citizen President Joan Claybrook. “In the wake of the collapse of energy giant Enron, consumers need more regulatory protection from the energy industry, not less.”

Many of the local groups from around the country who signed the letter are also contacting their senators to express opposition to the bill?s harmful provisions. These provisions include $1.3 billion in direct subsidies to the nuclear power industry over a four-year period, $1.8 billion in subsidies to the coal industry and more than $2 billion to promote oil and gas production and other “core fossil research and development.” Several groundbreaking amendments were rejected in favor of corporate interests, such as a renewable energy portfolio standard that would advance clean energy technology and a push for increased fuel economy standards for automobiles.

“There appears to be a consensus among senators that they must support energy legislation lest they get blamed for some future energy ?crisis,? like last year?s California fiasco,” said Tyson Slocum, a policy analyst for Public Citizen. “But supply interruptions and skyrocketing energy prices in California were caused by deregulation and if similar circumstances flare up in the future, it will very likely be because of the policies both ignored by and contained in S. 517.”

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The groups signing the letter are:

ACT (West Paducah, KY) ? Action for a Clean Environment (Alto, GA) ? Air Water Earth (AZ) ? Alliance for Survival (CA) ? AndrewsNuclearWasteDump.org (TX) ? Arkansas Voices ? Audubon Society of Northeast Pennsylvania ? Black Rain Press (Durhan, NC) ? Chicago Media Watch ? Citizen Action New Mexico ? CitizenWorks (Washington, DC) ? Citizens Action Coalition of Indiana ? Citizens Action for Safe Energy (OK) ? Citizens Advisory Panel (NY) ? Citizens Advocating Responsible Development (NY) ? Citizens Against Nuclear Energy-Dobbs Ferry (NY) ? Citizens Awareness Network (CT and MA) ? Citizens for Safe Energy (Hastings, NY) ? Citizens? Resistance at Fermi Two (MI) ? Coalition for a Nuclear Free Great Lakes (Monroe, MI) ? Coalition for Health Concern (Benton, KY) ? Committee for New Priorities (Chicago) ? Communities Against a Radioactive Environment (Livermore, CA) ? Concerned Citizens for Nuclear Safety (Santa Fe) ? Connecticut Opposed to Waste ? CorpWatch (San Francisco) ? Cumberland Countians for Peace & Justice (Pleasant Hill, TN) ? Don’t Waste Connecticut ? Don’t Waste Michigan ?Earth Action Network (Los Angeles) ? Earth Day Coalition (Cleveland) ? Eastern Navajo Dine Against Uranium Mining/Concerned Citizens of T’iists’ooz Nideeshgizh (NM) ? Ecology Center (Berkeley, CA) ? Energy CENTS Coalition (St. Paul, MN) ? Environmental Advocates of New York ? First Nations North & South (NM) ? Foundation for Taxpayer & Consumer Rights (Santa Monica, CA) ?Georgians Against Nuclear Energy ? Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (Gainesville, FL) ? GRACE Public Fund (New York, NY) ?Greenpeace (Washington, DC) ? Hanford Watch (Portland, OR) ?Hoosier Environmental Council (Indianapolis) ? Indiana Forest Alliance ? Indigneous Rights Organization (Kevil, KY) ? Institute for Local Self-Reliance (Minneapolis, MN) ? Irvington Neighbors Against Indian Point (Irvington, NY) ? Local Power (Oakland, CA) ?Maryland United for Peace & Justice ? Native Environmental Justice Advocacy Fund (CO) ? Network for Environmental & Economic Responsibility (Pleasant Hill, TN) ?New Jersey Environmental Lobby ?North American Water Office (Lake Elmo, MN) ?North Carolina Waste Awareness and Reduction Network ? Nuclear Energy Information Service (Evanston, IL) ? Nuclear Information & Resource Service (Washington, DC) ?NIRS, Southeast Office (Asheville, NC) ?Obed Watershed Association (Pleasant Hill, TN) ?Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (Occidental, CA) ? Persistant Organic Pollutants Working Group (NY) ? Protect Our Rivers Now! (Indianapolis, IN) ? Prairie Island Coalition (Minneapolis, MN) ?Public Citizen (Washington, DC) ?Radiological Evaluation & Action Project (Ewen, MI) ? Redwood Alliance (Arcata, CA) ?Regional Association of Concerned Environmentalists (Brockport, IL) ? Residents for Environmental Safety & Security (McDermott, OH) ? Shundahai Network (UT) ? Sierra Club, San Diego Chapter ? Social Education & Action Committee (Englewood, CO) ? Southern Oregon Forest Alliance ?Southern Ute Grassroots Organization (Ignacio, CO) ? Standing for Truth About Radiation (East Hampton, NY) ?Stellar Sun (Little Rock, AR) ?Stewards of the Potomac Highlands (Wardensville, WV) ?Sustainable Energy Alliance of Long Island ? Sustainable Energy and Economy Network (Washington, DC) ?TACENDA (Marshfield, MO) ? The Utility Reform Network (San Francisco, CA) ? Utah Legislative Watch?Valley Watch (Evansville, IN) ? Voices Opposed to Environmental Racism (Washington, DC) ? Waste Action Project (Seattle, WA) ? Wisconsin Community Action Program Association ? Women of Action (San Joaquin, CA) ? Women’s Action for New Directions (Arlington, MA) ? Women?s Energy Matters (Berkeley, CA) ? Yggdrasil Institute (Georgetown, KY)