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E-M:/ More on bad refinery bill

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

To: ajs@sagady.com
Subject: Energy Bill Update
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"A vote that was supposed to take five minutes took more than nine times that long because the indicted Republican leader of the House of Representatives needed extra time to twist the arms necessary to pass a bill that is against the interests of the American people, against consumers, against taxpayers, and against the environment."
- <http://democraticleader.ctsg.com/ctt.asp?u=2009619&l=107848>Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

Today, the Washington Republicans brought up an Energy bill (H.R. 3893) that does nothing to address soaring gas prices and rising home heating costs. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, gas prices across the country have skyrocketed, and as winter approaches, the cost of home heating oil and natural gas could have a devastating impact of on the budgets of America's families. But rather than providing relief to Americans who have seen home heating oil costs triple and natural gas costs more than double in the past 4 years, this energy bill helps oil companies at the expense of consumers and the environment. Not a single Democrat voted for the bill, which passed by a 212 to 210 vote after Republican leaders once again abused their power and held open a five-minute vote for more than 40 minutes.

Democrats are fighting for an energy policy that helps American consumers by stopping price gouging and increasing refinery capacity to keep gas and home heating prices low. House Democrats offered a constructive alternative that gives explicit authority to the Federal Trade Commission to stop price gouging, not just for gasoline and diesel, but for natural gas, home heating oil, and propane. See a side-by-side comparison below:

Stupak/Boucher Substitute Amendment Side-by-Side Comparison
Substitute Amendment Energy Bill (H.R. 3893)
(with adoption of the Manager's Amendment)
Lists factors that FTC must use when defining price gouging Does not list factors that FTC must use when defining price gouging 
President may invoke Act upon any Energy Emergency President may invoke Act only when a natural disaster disrupts energy supply 
Applies to all crude and refined petroleum products including propane and NATURAL GAS Does not apply to Natural Gas or propane 
Strengthens enforcement/penalty provisions for those who price gouge by providing new civil penalties, with up to triple damages of the profits gained by the violation Does not provide any additional penalties for those who engage in price gouging 
Directs penalties collected from price gougers to go towards LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program) Does not direct penalties collected back to consumers 
Provides the FTC with the authority to stop market manipulation and provide information on price transparency Does not even mention market manipulation or price transparency 
Allows state attorneys general to enforce Federal Law Leaves states without a price gouging statute with no recourse against those who price gouge 
Builds on proven success of Strategic Petroleum Reserve - requires federal government to operate Strategic Refinery Reserve to ensure adequate supply of refined products in emergency Provides benefits to private refiners through easing of siting and permitting process with no evidence that such action will result in additional refineries and at the peril of the environment 
Maintains environmental standards Weakens environmental standards 
House Democrats on the Energy Bill
"The Republican bill should be called the 'Republican Gift to Special Interests Bill.' It is a perfect example of the Republican culture of cronyism and corruption. Using Hurricane Katrina as their excuse, the Republicans are once again pushing their special interest agenda at the expense of the American people."
- Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi

"This energy bill is not only a missed opportunity, but it is a cynical effort by Washington Republicans to exploit the tragedy of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita to give more subsidies to oil companies and to roll back environmental laws."

- Rep Earl Blumenauer (D-OR)

"This is not an energy bill, it is an attack our public health and environment, which gives Americans a false sense of security in exchange for weakened public health. It is time this Administration and its Republican Leadership learn that public health, the environment, and the voices of our communities are not exploitable commodities."

- Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA)

"If Washington Republicans gut these clean air protections, it will have serious consequences for New Jersey's environment and our health. Rather than doing anything to cut gas prices, this energy bill contains more industry giveaways, and most egregiously relaxes rules that keep our air clean."

- Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ)

Don't take our word for it - see what others have to say about the Republican Energy Bill:

<http://democraticleader.ctsg.com/ctt.asp?u=2009619&l=107837>National Environmental Trust

<http://democraticleader.ctsg.com/ctt.asp?u=2009619&l=107838>National League of Cities

League of Conservation Voters

American Lung Association

Sierra Club

National Association of Counties

A letter from NINE Attorneys General

# # #

Tom Manatos
Office of the Democratic Leader
Advisor to the Leader

Alex J. Sagady & Associates        http://www.sagady.com

Environmental Enforcement, Permit/Technical Review, Public Policy, 
Evidence Review and Litigation Investigation on Air, Water and 
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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