WASHINGTON - February 19 - "We strongly urge the Senate to defeat the 2004 Revised Energy Bill," said Jake Schneider, treasurer of the Green Party of the UnitedStates. "This bill is only slightly less damaging to the environment than last year's version, and does nothing for energy conservation."
The bill, announced by Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM),chair of the Senate Energy Committee, reportedly would eliminate the $3 billion Energy Savings Performance Contracts program, which would conserve energy by retrofitting federal government buildings with energy efficient equipment.
Furthermore, the bill would provide massive subsidies to oil, coal, and nuclear lobbies; repeal the PublicUtility Holding Company Act; delay clean air standards; exempt oil and gas drilling from environmental review; allow dangerous nuclear waste reprocessing schemes; and open up sensitive public lands and coastal areas to oil and gas exploration.
"The 2004 bill omits the controversial MTBE liability waiver, which would have given legal protection to the petrochemical companies that produce a fuel additive which contaminates groundwater," said Holly Hart, co-chair of the Green Party's national Platform Committee. "But it's still a gift to industries favored by the Bush Administration, and it does nothing to reverse our addiction to fossil fuels. This addiction lies at the root of global climate change and the U.S.'s imperial policies in the MiddleEast, especially the invasion and occupation of Iraq."
"This bill must not be passed in any form," said Hart.