Senator Sanders Sets Out Energy Policy Principles Calls Current Proposals ‘By No Means Strong Enough’

For Immediate Release

Senator Bernie Sanders
Contact: 

Michael Briggs or Will Wiquist (202) 224-5141

Senator Sanders Sets Out Energy Policy Principles Calls Current Proposals ‘By No Means Strong Enough’

WASHINGTON - Sen. Bernie Sanders
(I-Vt.) today laid out core principles
that he said should be part of any comprehensive energy legislation,
and he bluntly
concluded in a letter to the Senate leader that it “makes no sense at
all” to promote coal and nuclear power over cleaner, safer energy
sources.

“I
am concerned that the current legislative proposals we are examining
are by
no means strong enough in terms of energy efficiency and sustainable
energy,” Sanders wrote in a letter to
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).

Any
legislation responding to the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster, Sanders
said,
should move the United States away from fossil fuels and toward energy
independence. The chairman of the Senate green jobs subcommittee also
said a
strong U.S. energy policy would cut greenhouse gas emissions while
creating
millions of good-paying jobs.

Sanders
singled out for criticism a weakness in the Kerry-Lieberman proposal
to provide
more than $100 billion for nuclear and coal, far more than their plan
would
invest in energy efficiency and sustainable energy sources. “If we are
serious about combating global warming, moving to energy independence
and
creating millions of jobs in the future, we must transform our energy
system
away from fossil fuels” Sanders said. “At the very least, any
serious energy bill must include funding for energy efficiency and
sustainable energy that is on a par with the amounts provided for
nuclear and
coal.”

Sanders
developed and sent to Reid a proposal that would ensure that the
energy bill
has a significant sustainable energy investment of tens of billions of
dollars over a 10-year period. The three principles that Sanders told
Reid
must be a part of any legislation include:

  • A strong energy efficiency and renewable
    energy provision. Sanders would invest at least 10 percent of
    the
    resources from global warming legislation in efficient and
    renewable
    energy sources such as solar, wind, geothermal and biomass. An
    investment of $8 billion to $13 billion a year, he said, would
    create as
    many as 2 million new jobs.
  • A ban on new offshore drilling. Congress
    should reinstate a moratorium in effect for decades and ban
    drilling off
    the Atlantic and Pacific coasts as well as Florida’s gulf coast.
    In addition, Congress should demand dramatically improved
    fuel-economy
    standards. While better gas mileage could save the equivalent of
    $1.43 a
    gallon by 2030, wide-open drilling would produce only enough
    additional
    petroleum to bring prices down by 3-cents a gallon.
  • A strong renewable electricity standard.
    Renewable energy standards, also known as renewable portfolio
    standards,
    require that a certain percentage of total energy needs be
    generated
    from renewable sources. The United States should set a national
    standard
    requiring 25 percent renewable power by 2025. “This provision
    alone could create hundreds of thousands of new jobs while
    helping to
    meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals,” Sanders said.
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