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E-M:/ Pelosi on the Energy Bill in Congress



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Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>
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Date: Thu, 21 Apr 2005 17:00:02 -0400 (EDT)
From: Tom Manatos <leader@democraticleader.ctsg.com>
To: ajs@sagady.com
Subject: Pelosi Statements - MTBE, Energy, Earth Day
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Please see Leader Pelosi's floor statement from today on a provision to the Republican energy bill that gives producers of gasoline additive MTBE a $2 billion subsidy, exempts the producers from liability, and establishes a nine-year phase out plan of MTBE.


Also please see Leader Pelosi's statement from yesterday on the Republican Energy bill and today's statement on EARTH DAY.



News From House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

H-204, The Capitol, Washington D.C. 20515
<http://democraticleader.ctsg.com/ctt.asp?u=2009619&l=89560>http://democraticleader.house.gov


Thursday, April 21, 2005



Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616



Pelosi: 'Republicans Are Not Even Giving MTBE Polluters a Slap on the Wrist; They Are Giving Them a Pat on the Back'



Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke today on the House floor in opposition to a provision in the Republican energy bill that gives producers of gasoline additive MTBE a $2 billion subsidy, exempts the producers from liability, and establishes a nine-year phase out plan of MTBE. Below are Pelosi's remarks:


"I rise in support of Congresswoman Capps' amendment to strike the disgraceful MTBE giveaway, and I commend her for seizing the opportunity to offer this amendment.

"Mr. Chairman, as we discussed yesterday in general debate, a few drops of MTBE can poison an entire drinking water system. But the industry lobbied for MTBE to be added to gasoline anyway. The dirty little secret is that the industry knew all along that MTBE would leak out of gasoline storage tanks and contaminate ground water. In fact, there was a deliberate attempt by the MTBE producers to hide the groundwater impacts of their product from Congress.

"Today, communities across America are suffering the effects of MTBE. MTBE contamination of groundwater and surface water is a major problem in my state of California, and many drinking water wells have had to be shut down because of this contaminant. MTBE contamination has been detected in all 50 states, and a recent study indicates that it could cost between $12 and $63 billion to clean up. That's $12 to $63 billion to clean up something the industry knew was dirty to begin with, and withheld information about that from Congress.

"Not surprisingly, the MTBE producers and the big oil companies want to be protected from liability for contaminating our drinking water supplies. And not surprisingly, Tom DeLay and House Republicans are happy to oblige. Mr. DeLay insisted on the MTBE provision in the last Congress, even at the cost of killing the energy bill. He insisted on it again this year. In fact, this is the Majority Leader's bill we are debating today.

"Instead of eliminating MTBE now, the Republican energy bill gives nine years for a phase out, nine years of MTBE leaking into our water supply. And a loophole may even allow MTBE to be used indefinitely. It gives MTBE producers liability protection in contamination lawsuits and it gives a $2 billion subsidy to MTBE manufacturers.

"According to the Republican Congress, you pollute our groundwater and you get $2 billion. That's your gift for contaminating our groundwater. Republicans are not even giving MTBE polluters a slap on the wrist; they are giving them a pat on the back.

"But in their attempt to shield MTBE producers and big oil companies from accountability, Republicans have created a huge unfunded mandate for states and localities, and it is taxpayers who are stuck with the bill. Remember unfunded mandates? Wasn't that principle number one of the Contract with America? No unfunded mandates.

"And then in their attempt to shield MTBE producers and big oil companies from accountability, Republicans have created this unfunded mandate, which is called such by the National Water Resources Association, the American Public Works Association, the Western Coalition of Arid States, the Association of California Water Agencies, the American Water Works Association, the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies, the National Association of Towns and Townships, the National Association of Counties, the National League of Cities, and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

"These organizations say that this provision amounts to a 'massive unfunded mandate on local governments and citizens.' Republicans used to oppose unfunded mandates, and the rules of the House still allow us to strike them.

"I urge my colleagues to support the Capps amendment, to demand accountability, and to stop the outrageous MTBE giveaway."

# # #


News From House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi


H-204, The Capitol, Washington D.C. 20515
<http://democraticleader.ctsg.com/ctt.asp?u=2009619&l=89560>http://democraticleader.house.gov


Wednesday, April 20, 2005



Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616



Pelosi: 'GOP Energy Bill is Anti-Consumer, Anti-Taxpayer, and Anti-Environment'



Washington, D.C. - House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi spoke today on the House floor on the outdated Republican energy bill that fails to create an energy policy for the future, strengthen national security, or protect the environment. Below are her remarks:
"Madame Chair, the American people deserve an energy policy that is worthy of the 21st century, not one mired in the policies of the past. But this bill looks backward, not forward. It is imperative that our country have an energy policy for the future.


"And it is a matter of national security that we reduce our dependence on foreign oil, so that we will be able to take care of our own security and not have to send our troops into harm's way for oil.

"It is critical to our environment that we invest in emerging technologies, renewable energy, and energy efficiency and conservation. It is vital for our economy that our country's economic growth is not constrained by the price of oil, and that our consumers do not have to pay such a serious price at the pump for gasoline.

"The opportunity is here for an energy bill that will put our country on the right path, but the Republican bill put forth today misses that opportunity. Instead of a positive plan to move our country forward, the Republican bill is a warmed-over stew of old provisions and outdated policies.

"The Republican energy bill is anti-consumer, anti-taxpayer, and anti-environment. And with its MTBE provisions, it is harmful to children and other living things. The Republican bill was written in secrecy, conceived under the influence of the energy lobbyists, and it shows. It should be rejected by this Congress.

"First, this bill is anti-consumer. Gas prices are soaring, and this bill makes matters worse. The price of gasoline is approaching $3 in some parts of our country, and nationwide, gas prices are up 42 cents from a year ago. When it costs nearly $50 for an American worker to fill his gas tank, it's time for relief.

"We are in the fifth year of the Bush Administration, and yet there has been no meaningful action to lower gas prices at the pump. And according to the Bush Administration's own Department of Energy, this Republican bill will actually increase gas prices by 3 cents a gallon, and will have almost no effect on production, consumption, or prices.

"Second, the bill is anti-taxpayer. The bill is loaded with tax breaks and royalty relief for oil and gas companies. Of the $8.1 billion in tax incentives in the bill, $7.5 billion, a staggering 93 percent, is for traditional energy sources such as oil, natural gas, nuclear power and electricity transmission. Even President Bush has said: 'When the price of oil is over $50 a barrel, the oil industry does not need relief.' And yet the President wants this bill to come to his desk from Congress as soon as possible.

"Third, this bill is anti-environment. It will open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas drilling, all for the sake of a six-month supply of oil that won't be available for 10 years. If this unspoiled place is not special enough to save for our grandchildren, what is? Once they despoil ANWR, nothing else is sacred. Indeed, this bill makes it easier for oil drilling in the protected areas off of our magnificent coastlines.

"The bill contains other anti-environmental provisions including weakening the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.

"Finally, this bill is harmful to children and all living things. The provisions on the gasoline additive MTBE, a few drops of which can poison entire drinking water systems, are a breathtaking example of pandering to special interests.

"Instead of eliminating MTBE now, the bill would give the MTBE industry nine years for a phase-out, and it would give MTBE producers liability protection in contamination lawsuits. This bill says to the MTBE industry: 'You are poisoning the water supply, but you don't have to stop for nine years; you have no liability for contamination; and on top of that, we are going to give you $2 billion in subsidies to help MTBE manufacturers.'

"The dirty little secret is that the industry knew all along that MTBE would leak out of gasoline storage tanks and contaminate groundwater, but they lobbied for it to be added to gasoline anyway. Now, they don't want to pay for the cleanup -- they want taxpayer to pick up the tab.

"The provision on MTBE, included in the bill at the Majority Leader's insistence, killed the bill in the last Congress. And Majority Leader DeLay is insisting on including it again this year. In fact, this is the Majority Leader's bill we are debating today.

"Madame Chair, it's time to look forward. It's time for an energy policy worthy of the 21st Century. Democrats have better ideas. I particularly want to commend Congressman Tim Bishop and Congressman Ed Markey for their amendment to lower gas prices, promote energy efficiency, advance emerging technology for energy efficiency and conservation, and improve consumer protection.

"This Republican energy bill is clearly designed to help energy companies make more money, not help American consumers save money.

"I urge my colleagues to stand up for a forward-looking energy bill to ensure our national security, to grow our economy, to protect our environment, and keep our water and air safe for our children.

"I urge my colleagues to vote yes on the Democratic amendments for an energy policy for the future, and I urge my colleagues to 'just say no' to Tom DeLay's disgraceful MTBE giveaway and his outdated boondoggle of an energy bill."

# # #

News From House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

H-204, The Capitol, Washington D.C. 20515
<http://democraticleader.ctsg.com/ctt.asp?u=2009619&l=89560>http://democraticleader.house.gov


Thursday, April 21, 2005



Contact: Brendan Daly/Jennifer Crider, 202-226-7616



Pelosi: 'On this Earth Day, and Every Day, Let Us Again Pledge to Protect Our Children and Our Environment'


Washington, D.C.-House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement in observance of the 35th annual Earth Day, which will be celebrated tomorrow:

"As a mother and grandmother, this year's Earth Day theme, 'For our children, for our future,' has a special significance. All children deserve clean air to breath, clean water to drink, and the opportunity to experience the wonders of nature.

"Unfortunately, on this Earth Day, Republicans have given us little reason to celebrate. This week, Republicans in the House of Representatives voted to open the Arctic National Wildlife to oil drilling. It is shear folly to spoil this unique ecosystem for a six-month supply of oil. If this pristine environment is not special enough to save for our grandchildren, what is?

"Since the first Earth Day 35 years ago, our nation has made great strides toward cleaning up our air and water. Unfortunately, it has taken the Bush Administration less than five years to undue many of those efforts and undermine our major environmental laws.

"The sight of polluted rivers and lakes spurred Americans to action in 1972 with the passage of the Clean Water Act, one of our environmental success stories. But now, the Bush Administration is turning back the clock, slashing funding to replace old sewage plants with new ones. Unless we invest in cleaning up our wastewater, children will not be able to swim or fish in our streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans.

"Air pollution is a serious health hazard to children and adults, causing asthma attacks, bronchitis, heart attacks, and premature deaths. It is clear that the continued enforcement and implementation of the Clean Air Act is imperative to fight polluters. The Administration, however, wants to pass an air pollution bill that will weaken the Clean Air Act, allowing polluters to further contaminate our air.

"The opponents of environmental laws say they are unnecessary because the air and water are getting cleaner. Americans know better, the environment is cleaner because of these landmark bipartisan environmental laws. On this Earth Day, and every day, let us again pledge to protect our children and our environment."

# # #



___________________________
Tom Manatos
Office of the Democratic Leader
Advisor to the Leader
202-225-0100


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