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E-M:/ Carl Pope on the Energy Bill



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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Subject: Statement of Carl Pope, Executive Director, Sierra Club On
the Energy Bill
To: #Conservation-All.SIERRACLUB@sierraclub.org,
       #Communications-Strategy-Team.SIERRACLUB@sierraclub.org,
       #Staff-Chapter.SIERRACLUB@sierraclub.org
From: Wendy.Balazik@sierraclub.org
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2003 11:50:10 -0500

For Immediate Release:
November, 17, 2003

Contact:
David Willett 202-675-6698

Statement of Carl Pope, Executive Director, Sierra Club
On the Energy Bill

Today, the Energy conference will consider a bill that constitutes one of
the worst environmental disasters in years.  Congress needs to reject this
destructive bill to protect our communities and the environment.

Hatched three years ago in the backroom meetings of the Bush/Cheney Energy
Task Force, this energy bill has been an act of secrecy from start to
finish.  Now this undemocratic process is in its final stretch.  Today, the
energy bill conference committee is poised to vote on a 1,148 page bill
that was just released publicly for the first time on Saturday.  Just as
the public was excluded during the Cheney Task Force, the public is being
shut out today.

Make no mistake; this bill will benefit the worst polluting industries in
America.  Instead of taking responsible steps forward, this bill would take
us backwards and put our communities at risk.  The majority of Americans
don't want this bill.  They don't want to breathe dirtier air, they don't
want to drink polluted water, and they don't want their precious natural
heritage sold out to the oil and gas industry.

This bill hands over our public lands to big oil companies, making oil and
gas drilling the dominant use of our pubic lands. The bill will turn back
the clock on clean air gains that we've made in recent decades, weakening
the Clean Air Act and making it easier for polluters to dirty our air for
longer. The bill will take the teeth out of our clean water laws where it
comes to oil companies, exempting oil and gas activities from the Clean
Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts.  It even lets MTBE (a gasoline additive
found to pollute drinking water) manufacturers off the hook for cleaning up
their own mess - saddling local communities with a $29 billion cleanup
cost.

The list goes on and on, and one of the worst things about the bill is that
it makes the everyday taxpayer - you and me - responsible for cleaning up
the mess. From putting toxic chemicals into our water and subsidizing more
coal and nuclear power plants at taxpayers' expense to exposing consumers
to more Enron-like market manipulation, this bill puts communities and
consumers at risk.

Our energy policy doesn't have to look like this.  There is a better way.
By using innovative 21st century clean energy technologies, we can clean up
our environment; cut the country's dangerous dependence on oil; increase
our use of clean, renewable energy; and prevent future blackouts.  But
instead of taking these smart choices forward, this bill takes us backwards
and opens up an entirely new attack on our environment and public health.

This bill will hurt citizens in every state of the country. There's no way
this bill can be fixed.  Responsible leaders should stand up and soundly
reject this disastrous energy bill.  Members of Congress should do
everything in their power - including filibuster if necessary - to ensure
that this bill never becomes law.

###

Wendy Balazik
Media Coordinator
Sierra Club
Phone:  202-675-2383
Fax:  202-547-6009



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Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy,
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Waste/Community Environmental and Resource Protection
Prospectus at:  http://www.sagady.com/sagady.pdf

PO Box 39,  East Lansing, MI  48826-0039
(517) 332-6971; (517) 332-8987 (fax); ajs@sagady.com
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