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E-M:/ NWF Press Release on Energy Bill



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Enviro-Mich message from "David Ross" <ROSS@nwf.org>
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Immediate Release: April 25, 2002

Contact: Phil Kavits - 703-438-6096 (business hours)
703-435-0975 (evening)

Energy Bill Lacks Arctic Threat and Sustainable Vision
The long-awaited energy bill passed by the Senate today is "far less notable for what it does than what it doesn't do," according to the National Wildlife Federation (NWF).
"It's great that the bill doesn't contain misguided plans to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge," said NWF Senior Vice President Jamie Rappaport Clark. "But unfortunately it doesn't contain any path to a sustainable energy future either."
The greatest flaws in the Senate bill are its failure to aggressively promote renewable energy use and the absence of increased Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards, especially for gas-guzzling, but hot-selling sport utility vehicles and light trucks.
"Senators had a chance to make gas guzzling vehicles more efficient, but they surrendered to industry scare tactics," noted Clark. "They had the chance to leap forward on renewables, but they took only tiny steps. And instead of improving hydropower licensing to benefit our waterways and fisheries, they just made the process more complex and less likely to safeguard important resources."
Hidden among the bill's weak or troubling provisions are a few bright spots relating to global warming. The measure takes initial steps to hold industry accountable for greenhouse gas pollution and encourages the President to become more engaged in developing real solutions to the climate change problem, both domestically and through participation in international agreements.
"The Senate Bill is certainly an improvement on the industry payoff plan approved in the House but that's not really saying much for it, added Clark. 
The next step for the bill is a House-Senate conference committee to reconcile disappointing Senate measure with the House disaster.
"A conference committee collapse might be the best thing that could happen for America's energy policy. Congress and the White House need to scrap the poor excuses they're offering as energy plans and start again." continued Clark."
The National Wildlife Federation will continue the fight to ensure that misguided approaches to meeting the nation's energy needs don't further damage sensitive landscapes, threaten wildlife or degrade the environment. Currently, administrative decrees issued by President Bush's political appointees are quietly undermining environmental safeguards to accelerate the pace of risky energy development efforts, especially in the West. 
"It's clear that administration and Congress aren't fully grasping the message the public sent during the Arctic debate," concluded Clark. "Wasteful energy policies are no excuse for auctioning off our natural heritage. People want a plan that helps break our oil-addiction and gets America on track to a sustainable future. Politicians are hearing that message from people of every political persuasion. Politicians who don't listen will eventually have to explain why."
The nation's largest member-supported conservation education and advocacy group, the National Wildlife Federation unites people from all walks of life to protect nature, wildlife and the world we all share. The Federation has educated and inspired families to uphold America's conservation tradition since 1936.

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