Tuesday, June 15, 2004

The administration's energy bill would do more harm than good

Why you're right:

1. The energy bill would give away billions in tax dollars to the energy industry. Bush's energy bill – which Republican House leadership is trying to push through this week – includes $23.5 billion dollars in tax breaks to the coal, oil and gas industries. The 15 companies that would benefit most from these provisions had after-tax profits of $56 billion between 1999 and 2002. (League of Conservation Voters, Washington Times)

2. The energy bill would damage the environment. It is well publicized that the energy bill would open up the pristine Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. But the bill would also exempt oil and gas construction activities from the Clean Water Act, exempt a drilling technique pioneered by Halliburton from the Safe Drinking Water Act, and extend the deadline for power plant compliance with the Clean Air Act. (League of Conservation Voters)

3. The energy bill would make us more dependent on fossil fuels. The bill weakens fuel efficiency standards by extending a loophole that, according to the Bush administration's own analysis, would waste 9-17 billion gallons of gas. It also fails to make significant investments in renewable energy. Less than 1/3 of the incentives go to efficient and renewable sources. (League of Conservation Voters)

Why they're wrong:

Supporters of the energy bill argue that it is necessary to increase domestic fuel production to control soaring gas prices. But according to the National Geological Survey, the amount that could be recovered economically from the Arctic National Refuge would total roughly 3.2 billion barrels, only about a six-month U.S. supply. Moreover, it would take 10 years for that oil to reach the pump. In short, it would do nothing solve our current problems with high gas prices. (National Resources Defense Counsel)