The new Senate energy bill is nothing more than a dirty power mandated climate killer. But it has bi-partisan support and is on track for a full vote in the coming weeks. Click here to tell the Senate to clean up their act and shut down this dirty bill.
With all the dysfunction in our current Senate, it was encouraging to hear that there would soon be a bi-partisan agreement on a new bill to determine how our country will extract and utilize energy. Last week Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) announced a new energy reform bill, but once the details of the bill were revealed it was clear that our climate and environment are still at risk.
While the bill has been heralded by some as a good compromise, the only thing really compromised is our planet. The package is so bad, that 11 environmental groups including the Sierra Club and Friends of the Earth sent a letter to Murkowski and Cantwell outlining its major failings.1 Among other things, there is little to no mention of renewable energy and it would repeal a plan to make all new and renovated federal buildings fossil fuel free by 2030.
But you had to know that with Oil Baroness Murkowski in the mix, there's even more bad news attached to this bill. She included a provision to fast track approval of natural gas exports -- including to countries we don't have trade agreements with.2 This provision is nothing more than a green light to frack, frack, frack, bringing our water and climate closer to the brink.
That's why we need to send a message to Murkowski and Cantwell to clean up their acts and this dirty bill. Will you click here and help shut down the Senate's bad energy?
I have come to expect these kinds of climate killing policies from Murkowski, but it was very surprising and disappointing to see Cantwell become a climate capitulator. She all but surrendered stating, "We're really proud of where we are, we're proud of this bill, but obviously you don't get everything."3 How can Cantwell be proud of a bill allowing shoddy construction of hydro-power dams that would harm wildlife and encroach on and damage tribal lands -- or the fact that this bill expedites and deregulates strip mining operations.4 Say it ain't so Senator.
Cantwell's willingness to quickly compromise in the name of bipartisanship is already opening up the door for Senators to attach a slew of controversial amendments to the bill -- including approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.5 There's also talk that some Senators plan to attach an amendment that would block President Obama's Clean Power Plan.
While there are some good parts of this bill, and while I like compromise, this is no time for the Senate to vote for a bill that leads us away from a clean energy future, while rewarding frackers, mountain strippers and land grabbers. Those climate-killing amendments are bad, but they might be our best chance to stop this bill for good.
But to do that, we need Murkowski and Cantwell to know that it's time to go back to the drawing board and create an energy package that promotes renewables while keeping dirty fuels where they belong, under the ground. Click here to tell them both to shut it down.
Thanks for taking (environmental) action,
Anthony for Environmental Action
1. Geman, Ben. Green Groups Oppose Senate Energy Bill As Drafted. July 27, 2015.
2. Energy Policy and Modernization Act of 2015. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee . July 22, 2015.
3. Cama, Timothy. Senators Strike Deal On Sweeping Energy Bill. The Hill. July 22, 2015.
4. Geman, Ben. Green Groups Split With Cantwell On Senate Energy Bill. The National Journal. July 27, 2015.
5. Koss, Geof. 'Mega-MarkUp' May Test Limits Of Bipartisanship. Environment and Energy Publishing. July 28, 2015.