Democrats and Republicans Hold Firm Against Anti-Environmental Energy Bill

Statement by Karen Wayland, NRDC Acting Legislative Director

WASHINGTON (November 21, 2003) -- The Senate this morning failed to muster enough votes to stop a bipartisan filibuster against the energy bill, which has come under fire by conservation groups, unions and consumer groups for giving billions of taxpayer dollars to polluting industries and failing to strengthen U.S. energy security. Below is a statement by Karen Wayland, acting legislative director for NRDC (the Natural Resources Defense Council):

"Americans owe a great debt to the courageous Democrats and Republicans who held steadfast this morning to stop the Bush administration-sponsored energy bill. Instead of setting America on a path to energy security, this bill would reward polluting energy companies with billions in subsidies. Americans ultimately would pay twice for this bill--with our pocketbooks and with our health.

"The number one reason we need a comprehensive national energy policy is to reduce our dangerous dependence on foreign oil by investing in cleaner, safer ways to power America. On that score, this bill is a miserable failure.

"We need a 21st Century energy policy that promotes energy conservation, provides more power from clean, renewable sources and tackles global warming. This energy bill not only fails to deliver on that promise, it would take us backward by relying mainly on 19th Century oil and coal technology.

"Congress should kill this bill, and we applaud the senators from both sides of the aisle who took a stand today."

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.