This week the U.S. Senate will consider a "bi-partisan" energy bill sponsored by Senators Lisa Murkowski and Maria Cantwell. The bill is bad enough already, with big giveaways to King Coal and Big Oil. But some senators want to add even more amendments that would kill our climate. Click here to tell your senators to only support amendments that clean up this bad energy bill, or kill it.
The year of 2016 is going to be a defining year for the path our country takes, or doesn't, to reduce keep 80 percent of fossil fuels in the ground and undertake a just transition to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. You know, the stuff we promised to do when we signed the global climate deal in Paris last year? A big factor that will decide which direction our nation takes is the "bi-partisan" Energy Policy Modernization Act co-sponsored by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA). This Senate Energy Bill was approved by the Energy and Natural Resources Committee last summer and it's filled with giveaways for Big Oil and King Coal.
The full Senate is expected to begin debating the bill this week, and many are anticipating that all kinds of amendments to help the fossil fuel industry.1 Some senators, like John Barrasso (R-WY) and Mitch McConnell (R-KY) have boasted about their plan to use the bill to repeal most of President Obama's environmental accomplishments -- including the Clean Power Plan and the recently announced moratorium on coal leases on federal lands.2
That's why need our climate champions in the Senate to introduce amendments that promote environmental protection, climate action and environmental justice. What about an amendment to keep fossil fuels in the ground, reinstates the crude oil export ban or declare climate disruption is real and caused by humans. This will only happen if you contact your senators today and tell them plain: Clean it Up or Kill It. Click here to make sure they get the message.
If the energy bill passes in its current form, it would force the Secretary of Energy to allow exports of liquefied natural gas only 45 days after a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) review.3 And since FERC is famous for having NEVER said no to a fracked gas project, we could see dozens more pipelines and export terminals rammed through our towns in no time - cooking the climate and threatening our communities. The bill also attempts to perform save the dying coal industry, by allocating hundreds of millions in new subsidies to an energy source we should be burying in our past.4 As if that wasn't enough, the bill also includes a stipulation that would REMOVE safety considerations from the construction of nuclear power plants.
You'd think that supporters of Big Oil and Coal would be happy with the way it is. But get this, the climate denial think tank Heritage Foundation thinks the bill actually gives too much to environmentalists.5 You can bet that if the climate deniers don't think this bill goes far enough, they're going to add amendments that promote even more fracking, drilling and climate killing until every last fossil fuel is extracted and burned.
This may be our last chance in 2016 for the Senate to debate our energy future. Let's make sure our senators know what we want (clean energy) and when we want it (NOW!). Click here to tell your senators: Don't Generate Bad Energy.
Thanks for taking (environmental) action,
Anthony and the Keep Our Energy Clean Crew at Environmental Action
1. Cama, Timothy. Senators Prepare Amendments for Energy Bill Free-for-All. The Hill. January 21, 2016.
2. White, Chris. New Energy Bill to Include Amendment Reversing Obama's Coal Lease Block. The Daily Caller. January 21, 2016.
3. Bowman, Michael. America's Energy in Congressional Crosshairs. Voice of America. January 24, 2015.
4. The Energy Policy Modernization Act of 2015, Section-by-Section Analysis. September 2015.
5. Loris, Nicoloas. Bipartisan Senate Energy Bill Full of Poison Pills. The Heritage Foundation. October 28, 2015.