Senate Democrats

Democratic Senators Discuss Energy Policy That Strengthens National Security And Protects Environment, Consumers

Washington, DC–Senate Democrats discussed today their energy package that will increase our energy independence, strengthen the economy, reduce global warming emissions and protect consumers. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Senators Jeff Bingaman, Barbara Boxer and John Kerry promoted the Democrats’ plan to punish gas price-gougers, make the government a model of energy efficiency, increase our supply of biofuels, and quickly bring clean and affordable renewable fuels to market.

The Senators also unveiled a new Web site – www.democrats.senate.gov/energy – an online information center that will provide important updates in the coming weeks as Senate Democrats hold energy forums across the country and legislation moves through Congress.

“Our legislation will dramatically increase American-made and grown renewable fuels production, reducing our dependency on unsustainable and volatile petroleum supplies from around the world,” Reid said. “This Administration has made it a priority to give tax breaks to oil and gas companies even as prices have doubled and oil company profits have soared. In contrast, Democrats will require the oil industry to start investing in America by producing clean, renewable fuels in America, and putting our national security, economy and environment ahead of profits.”

Said Bingaman, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources: “This new legislation will move us closer to greater energy independence by increasing production of clean renewable fuels, improving energy efficiency, punishing gas gougers and supporting research into the capture and storage of carbon dioxide. It is built on a foundation of committee-reported bills that enjoyed broad bipartisan support. The American public is looking to Congress to show leadership on ways to achieve energy security, and this bipartisan bill is an excellent step in that direction.”

“Once again, drivers across this nation are facing near record breaking gas prices. Some areas are seeing prices well over $4.00 per gallon,” said Daniel K. Inouye, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation. “The need to increase CAFE standards goes beyond the wallet – it is both a national security and ecological imperative. We cannot continue to rely on foreign oil and we cannot stand idly by while car exhaust continues to contribute to the rise of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. The time has come to develop a comprehensive approach to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and slow global warming. The adoption of CAFE standards is a critical element in achieving these goals.”

Said Boxer, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works: “This energy package includes important provisions to make sure buildings and vehicles operated by the federal government are models of energy efficiency, which will make our air cleaner, reduce global warming pollution and save taxpayers money. I will be working to ensure that as we move toward a more energy efficient economy, and toward wider use of clean, renewable fuels, that we are taking the necessary steps to protect the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the environment we depend on.”

“Our Democratic Congress was elected to change course – and it is up to us, to make the hard choices,” said Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Commerce Subcommittee on Science, Technology and Innovation. “Today, gas prices have skyrocketed to record highs – numbers that have shocked even the guys in big oil and gas. We owe the American people an energy policy that addresses these soaring gas prices and gets real about our energy future. That’s why we will fight to increase CAFE standards and take price gouging head on when the energy bill goes to the floor. We must be tough, we must not back down. We can have an energy bill that takes bold, real steps towards energy independence and tackling global climate change.”

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