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MARCH 19, 2003
11:43 AM
CONTACT: The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
(212) 727-2700
Energy Bill is Unwelcome Blast from the Past, Says NRDC
WASHINGTON - March 19 - As Americans prepare for imminent war abroad and continue to endure economic uncertainty on the home front, Congress is set to debate highly controversial energy legislation. Today the House Energy & Commerce Subcommittee on Energy & Air Quality is taking up the "Energy Policy Act of 2003" (H.R. 3). The bill is essentially a warmed over version of the anti-environmental, pro-industry legislation that failed to pass in the last Congress. With war looming and energy prices rising, supporters hope the outcome will be different this time around. But this not so new or improved energy bill is the wrong approach, at the wrong time.

Below is a statement by Alys Campiagne, NRDC's legislative director:

"Recycling is normally good for the environment, but not in the case of this energy bill.

"This sham bill rips off taxpayers to the tune of billions in subsidies to polluting industries -- and for what? To drill, dig and burn our way to a dirtier and unhealthier environment and leaving us dangerously dependent on foreign oil.

"Although the world has changed since 9/11, amazingly, the House is still pushing a bill that would make America less secure, not more.

"What is needed is a forward-looking national energy policy that promotes clean, renewable energy, increased energy efficiency, and better fuel economy.

"Several amendments will be offered to improve the energy bill and safeguard all Americans. Rep. Ed Markey is planning to offer an amendment to boost domestic oil savings and another to stem the threat of nuclear proliferation posed by the Bush administration's plan to reprocess plutonium waste. Anyone opposing these amendments will be voting against our national security."

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.


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