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E-M:/ FW: Congress/Energy: Sierra Club Statement on Senate Committee Refinery Bill Vote



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Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <Anne.Woiwode@sierraclub.org>
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 26, 2005
CONTACT: Brian O'Malley, 202-675-6279

       Sierra Club Statement on Senate Committee Refinery Bill Vote
                Carl Pope, Executive Director, Sierra Club

"In a victory for clean air and the health of American communities, the
Senate Environment and Public Works Committee refused to vote out a bill by
Committee Chair Sen.Inhofe (R, OK) that would have weakened environmental
protections and given subsidies and handouts to the polluting oil industry.
The bill was defeated by a 9-9 vote with all the Committee Democrats and
Sen. Lincoln Chafee (R. RI) opposing this harmful legislation that
attempted to exploit the tragedies of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita by
decreasing public involvement and oversight in oil refinery permitting, and
limiting the ability of individual states to promote cleaner fuels.

"Instead of focusing on losing issues like giveaways to the oil industry,
it is time for Congress to put forward a real energy policy that will lower
energy bills and cut America's dependence on oil so we do not repeat the
mistakes of the past. The federal government can raise fuel economy
standards - the biggest single step we can take to saving money at the gas
pump is to make our cars, trucks, and SUVs go farther on a gallon of gas.
Making all new vehicles average 40 miles per gallon fleet-wide within ten
years would save consumers $4,000 at the gas pump over the lifetime of
their vehicle and save the United States more oil than we currently import
from the entire Persian Gulf and could ever take out of the Arctic National
Wildlife Refuge, combined.

"Additionally, because oil companies are posting the biggest profits in
corporate history as a result of skyrocketing prices, Congress should
institute a windfall profit tax on the oil industry to help lower energy
costs and fund investments in clean energy technology to make America less
dependent on oil and other fossil fuels.

"America needs real energy solutions - not flawed, recycled policies."

                                   # # #


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