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E-M:/ Resent in plain text - Senate passes disappointing energy bill

Enviro-Mich message from "Megan Owens" <meo@umich.edu>

(Resent in plain text - per request of those without html-email)

For Immediate Release: April 26, 2002
Contact: Megan Owens, 734-662-6597

		  Statement of Megan Owens, Field Director

(Visit www.uspirg.org for a side-by-side analysis of key provisions in the
House and Senate energy bills.)

We are extremely disappointed that the Senate passed an energy bill that
fails to reduce our dependence on imported oil, fails to significantly
increase our nation's overall energy security, fails to protect electricity
consumers, and fails to safeguard our environment.  Michigan Senators Levin
and Stabenow were among the 88 Senators to vote for this unacceptable bill.

While we are pleased that the Senate rejected drilling in the Arctic
National Wildlife Refuge and included standards to increase renewable energy
generation, there is no way that any conference between the House energy
bill, written by the polluters for the polluters, and the Senate energy
bill, now plundered by polluters, will produce the clean, safe energy policy
that Americans deserve. Congress should go back to the drawing board.

The Senate energy bill actually weakens existing environmental and consumer
protections.  For example:

- It allows certain new nuclear reactors to have even lower liability in
case of a nuclear accident than existing reactors under the Price-Anderson
- It exempts pickup trucks from any future increases in fuel economy
- It weakens Safe Drinking Water Act requirements in order to expand oil and
gas exploration and development using hydraulic fracturing;
- It reverses a U.S. policy against reprocessing nuclear fuel:
- It exempts the oil and renewable fuels industries from liability for
damages caused by fuel additives;
- It reduces environmental standards for re-licensing of hydroelectric dams;
- It repeals the one of the federal government's most important mechanisms
to protect electricity consumers -- the Public Utility Holding Company Act;
- It permits the Bush administration to follow through on its announced
plans to rollback energy efficiency standards for air conditioners.

Forward-thinking energy legislation should reduce consumption of oil by at
least one million barrels a day, guarantee that at least 10 percent of
electricity supplies come from new clean renewable energy, cut subsidies to
polluting energy sources, ensure a reliable and consumer-friendly electric
system, reduce pollution to our air, land and water, and safeguard the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and other wild places. Any bill that falls
short of that fails to make the grade, and fails the American public.

  				30  30  30

PIRGIM is a non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy group with
over 10,000 members across Michigan.  More information is available at

U.S.PIRG (www.uspirg.org) is the national lobbying office of PIRGIM and the
other state PIRGs.

               Megan Owens
Field Director               734-662-6597
PIRGIM                    MOwens@pirg.org

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