Rob Perks, NRDC, 202-289-2420
Green Energy Bill Promises Healthier Economy, Healthier Environment
WASHINGTON (November 20, 2003) -- Supporters of the controversial Republican energy bill heading for final Senate action tomorrow claim that exorbitant subsidies for oil, coal and nuclear energy companies will generate as many as 800,000 new jobs. With tax giveaways, authorized spending, and other costs totaling $140 billion, the bill will certainly feather a few nests. But in truth, the same amount of money invested in clean technology would produce more than twice as many jobs, without jeopardizing public health and the environment.
"Instead of pushing an energy bill that costs America jobs and hurts our economic future, lawmakers should be demanding more efficient energy technologies that improve our national security by cutting U.S. dependence on foreign oil," said Dan Lashof, science director of the Climate Center at NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council).
Unable to defend a bill handcrafted by energy company lobbyists on any other grounds, proponents' last chance to sell the measure is to proclaim that it is a jobs bill. But a truly balanced energy policy would produce more than twice as many jobs as this costly, damaging legislation. If the same money were invested instead in energy efficiency and renewable technologies, it would create at least 1.8 million jobs, according to a recent economic analysis by the Tellus Institute, and studies of jobs generated by wind energy development.
"The final showdown will be a test of wills against the bonanza of special interest sweeteners added to the energy bill in an effort to secure passage," added Lashof.
Alison Bailie of the Tellus Institute is prepared to comment on how a responsible energy policy would produce far more jobs than the pending energy bill. She can be reached at (617) 266-5400 or [email protected].
The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 550,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.