The Energy Bill Fiasco

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by David Remer PoliWatch.Org 11/19/03

Sen. Pete Domenici (R) of New Mexico, the chief spokesperson for the current Energy Bill which has come out of conference committee before the Senate for ratification states again and again that if we don't pass this bill now, there will be no energy bill for as many as 10 years. He propounded a list of energy companies that went on and on that would benefit from the bill.

Sen. John McCain and a host of Democrats have flat out stated this bill hurts the American public. It will bloat the deficit without generating jobs in return. It will not address the contract manipulations enacted by Enron, and in fact, permits them to continue. The Energy bill will not enhance energy security, it destroys many environmental protections and gives billions of tax payer dollars to energy companies and corn farmers and does nothing to lower the cost of energy for the American public. And most egregious is the fact that fuel producers have knowingly produced MTBE, a chemical known to cause cancer among a host of other maladies and has now been surveyed to have poisoned ten's of thousands Americans. Leaking fuel tanks send the MTBE chemical into the ground and surface water drinking water sources. The Bill will provide safe harbor to those energy companies insuring they cannot be sued for illnesses incurred from the MTBE's nor for any clean up of water sources that have been contaminated and which in turn are destroying property values for whole communities.

Finally, and in the long run, the most devastating consequence of this Energy Bill is the fact that it provides no focused, concerted, concrete, coordinated plan to enhance, insure, and secure American energy nor does it go anywhere in the future to reduce America's dependency upon foreign oil.

This bill began with the proposal that the President wanted an energy bill passed this year. The only way that was going to happen was to stuff the bill with pork for energy lobbyists, grant non-energy pork to key congressman whose votes would be needed, and at all costs, keep the details of the bill from public and congressional view by Democrats and even Republicans who would likely delay the progress of the passing the bill out of conference with objections designed to represent the what would be best for the American people. The bill contains some very good components like ethanol production. But, they are so outweighed in cost and benefit by the negatives in this bill, that newspaper editorials across the country are stating America will be better off without an energy plan than it will be to adopt this one.

I have watched this bill debated in the Senate for hours now, and it is obvious that the system that is supposed to lead America to greatness, the system that is supposed to protect the American public, the system that is supposed to design programs for the benefit of the economy, the voters, the environment is completely broken. This bill demonstrates that the only factor guiding legislation today is greed by lobbyist business interests and power hungry Congresspersons who place election contributions above the needs and interests of the American people and their country.

Finally, America is poised to become a world leader in cheap, renewable, and environmentally friendly fuel technology. But, that opportunity is squandered by this bill by granting the billions and billions of dollars that should be put into the development of that technology to create jobs and make the U.S. the main exporter of this technology, into subsidization of already profitable corporate farmers and energy companies and even new nuclear power plants to generate ever more radioactive waste that we already can't afford to store or dispose of. If this bill passes in the Senate, it will be a sad day in history indeed, only outweighed by 9/11.

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This page contains a single entry by David R. Remer published on November 19, 2003 3:21 PM.

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