CONTACT: Adam Goldberg
November 20, 2003
Tomorrow you will be asked to vote on an energy bill that is a multi-billion dollar grab bag giveaway to special interests that will result in a permanent and unjustifiable transfer of wealth from consumers’ pocketbooks to energy producing companies. The bill also fails to adequately ensure electricity reliability or encourage necessary energy conservation. We urge you to oppose this anti-consumer measure.
Among its many flaws, the bill:
● Opens the door to higher utility bills by repealing the Public Utility Holding Company Act, which would allow multi-state holding companies to buy up local electric utilities and transfer the assets beyond effective oversight by state authorities;
● Fails to do enough to reduce consumption of non-renewable energy sources by not appreciably strengthening automobile fuel efficiency standards and not developing an adequate renewable portfolio standard;
● Locks in high-cost energy sources by subsidizing both an Alaska natural gas pipeline with artificial price supports, and next-generation nuclear power plants that rely on unproven technology; and
● Forces states to use more ethanol, even if its not necessary to meet clean air standards, which will result in higher prices at the pump.
The bill also contains several provisions that not only will harm consumers, but the environment as well. In addition to requiring states to use more ethanol, the bill provides an ethanol liability waiver that could cost communities billions if ethanol ends up polluting local water supplies. More shockingly, the liability waiver is extended to methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), a fuel additive that has caused over $29 billion in damage to the environment, including drinking water supplies across the country.
We urge you to oppose this energy bill and go back to the drawing board to craft legislation that addresses the important energy issues that face the United States in the 21st Century.
Adam J. Goldberg