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Press contact: Rob Perks, Natural Resources Defense Council, 202-289-2420
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Statement by Karen Wayland, NRDC Legislative Director

WASHINGTON (June 16, 2005) -- By a vote 53 to 47, the U.S. Senate today rejected an amendment to the energy bill, offered by Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash), which called for a 40 percent reduction in oil imports in 20 years. The bill still contains a requirement that the nation save one million barrels of oil a day by 2015.

The following is a statement by Karen Wayland, Legislative Director for NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

"Everyone agrees that reducing our oil dependence is a must, so it's disappointing that the Senate failed to support a reduction in oil imports over the next two decades.

"It remains to be seen how serious Congress really is about energy security. Instead of exporting billions of dollars in exchange for oil, we should invest in domestic fuel alternatives and better technology.

"If the energy bill doesn't take bigger steps to reduce our reliance on oil, then what's the point?"

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, nonprofit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 1 million members and online activists nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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