Washington, DC – Nevada Senator Harry Reid released the following statement this afternoon regarding the energy jobs and oil response bill Senate Democrats introduced last week. The Republican alternative, by contrast, creates no jobs, bails out BP and does nothing to lower our nation’s dependence on oil:
“The two energy bills before us – one Democratic, one Republican – could not be more different.
“Our bill creates almost 200,000 jobs by investing in energy efficiency through the HomeStar program, and hundreds of thousands of more jobs by investing in vehicles that run on natural gas. The Republican bill, on the other hand, creates a grand total of zero jobs.
“Here’s another difference: By law, oil companies are liable for just $75 million in disasters like the one that has poisoned our Gulf for the last hundred days. That is clearly insufficient. Our bill gets rid of that cap, and does so retroactively to make sure BP pays every cent it owes this country. The Republican proposal, on the other hand, does not. It leaves the antiquated, arbitrary and inadequate cap in place, and lets BP off the hook completely.
“The differences don’t stop there: We will lower consumers’ energy bills. They will not. We will reduce oil consumption to help end our dangerous addiction on fossil fuels. They will not. We will update laws written 150 years ago that keep families of the Deepwater Horizon victims from pursuing justice. They will not. And we will protect the environment. They will not.
“It comes down to this: We wrote our bill for the middle class, the taxpayers, the unemployed and the future of our planet. The other side wrote their bill for BP. It’s that simple.
“It’s also worth taking a step back and looking at the big picture, because the contrast we’re talking about today is also a window into the larger debate. We know we’ll need to do more to fully address the big problems: global warming, pollution, energy costs, our oil addiction and, of course, jobs.
“But if the other side refuses to cooperate even on the easy things, how will we be able to do any of the hard things?”