Senate Democrats

News from Outside The Beltway

As they returned home for the Memorial Day District Work Period, Democrats addressed the record-breaking gas prices and threats to our environment that need urgent attention in Congress. Newspapers from across the country are picking up Democrats’ united call for energy legislation that protects consumers, increase our energy independence, strengthens the economy and reduces global warming emissions. Next week Democrats will begin debate on an energy bill that accomplishes all of those goals, while also keeping the pressure on this Administration to change course in Iraq.


Burlington Free Press – Senate to Take Up Sander’s Global Warming Legislation- The Senate will soon consider global warming legislation by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., that could help towns and counties throughout Vermont boost energy efficiency and reduce the use of fossil fuel.  Sanders’ legislation, attached to a major energy bill the Senate will take up this month, would create a nationwide Energy and Environmental Block Grant Program….LINK 

Honolulu – Global warming plan a pale shade of green – Was America’s chief executive really flashing a green light for the U.S. making a concerted effort to combat global warming? After a moment’s excitement among hopeful environmentalists and scientists that the reticent President Bush was coming around at last, everyone had to put their hats and horns away.  LINK 

Baltimore Sun Editorial – Getting Warmer – President Bush’s sudden conversion last week from skeptic to global warming warrior was probably best summed up by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who observed: "Nobody can ignore the question of climate change." Mr. Bush should be welcomed to the party, however late his arrival. But his proposal to convene global talks aimed at setting long-term targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions can’t be allowed to slow the momentum for swifter, more tangible efforts in the meantime.  LINK

Missoulian News -Tester: Offer incentives for carbon capture –High gas prices are here to stay – at least until Congress can begin tackling the energy crisis in the United States, said Democratic Sen. Jon Tester. “We are fully aware of where gas prices are at here in Montana,” he said. “With these challenges come opportunities.” LINK 

Star Tribune Minneapolis -Editorial – Time for U.S. to act on global warming: Klobuchar-Snowe "carbon counter” is a good first step – In a major speech on climate change Thursday, President Bush for the first time committed his administration to long-term reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. But even a quick look at the fine print shows that Bush’s proposal is simply a weaker, vaguer alternative to the ambitious plan his world counterparts put forward in Europe this week… LINK

KOMO-TV Seattle, Washington – Non-profits struggling under weight of high gas prices. Non-profit groups in the Seattle area say they are being hurt badly by high gas prices, and it is the low-income that will suffer…. Senator Maria Cantwell promises to push for an anti-gouging law. She and others are also looking at the huge profits of gas companies. "There is a bi-partisan effort to target some of those profits and put them into a program similar to the low-income energy assistance program," Sen. Cantwell said. She is pushing a bill, already passed by the House, to give the Federal Trade Commission the power to look at possible manipulation of gas supplies. The bill provides criminal penalties for what she calls "price gouging." LINK 

Seattle Post Intelligencer -Feds should crack down on oil price gouging, Cantwell says. The federal government should have the power to investigate and crack down on any Enron-style market manipulation and price gouging by gasoline companies that exploits consumers — including hard-pressed social service agencies that provide help to the needy, Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., said Thursday in Seattle. "We’re seeing how the high price of fuel is impacting those most vulnerable in our society," Cantwell said at a news conference in a Meals on Wheels warehouse. LINK

The Columbian – County feels pain of expensive gas. “On Tuesday, against a backdrop of C-Tran buses revving their engines at its Fisher’s Landing Transit Center, Washington’s junior senator said she is ready to take on petroleum suppliers and distributors. Cantwell, a Democrat, is the lead sponsor of a Senate bill that would give the Federal Trade Commission new authority to investigate gas gouging and make it a federal crime to manipulate the petroleum market to artificially inflate prices.” LINK

The Oregonian – High fuel prices may mean cuts in Clark County transit services, officials say. “High gasoline prices will mean cutbacks for a Clark County social service agency that provides rides to the elderly and disabled, and could also lead to reductions in C-Tran bus service, officials told Sen. Maria Cantwell in Vancouver today. Cantwell is touring the state to learn about how gas prices are affecting the economy, and promoting legislation she introduced to increase development of alternative fuels and prevent price manipulation.” LINK


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Editorial – Bases of futility – The latest lame idea floated by the Bush administration and Pentagon for keeping U.S. troops in Iraq, even after a withdrawal, is called "lily pads."   In reality, the military bases — the larger ones known as Contingency Operating Bases and the smaller called Enduring Bases — would be operated in Iraq after some or all of the 160,000 post-surge American forces are pulled out. LINK

Las Vegas Sun -Editorial: Damn the intelligence – It is hard for us to think of the mounting casualties in Iraq among American troops and Iraqi civilians without also thinking of how President Bush was warned before he ordered the war that it would likely go terribly wrong. Much has been written over the past three years about how Bush was so narrowly focused on starting a war in Iraq that he used mistaken intelligence – such as the purported existence of huge stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq – to the near exclusion of accurate intelligence. LINK