the next few weeks, President Bush and his congressional
allies will try once again to ram their disastrous
energy bill through the U.S. Senate. They fell
only two votes short in November and they've vowed
to make passage of the bill their top priority
now that Congress has returned from recess.
bill may be the worst piece of legislation you
and I will see in our lifetimes. It would pick
your pocket, despoil your natural heritage, endanger
your family's health and smother your hope for
a more secure energy future. We ignore this bill
at our own peril.
me tell you our simple plan for thwarting this
shameless attack on our environment and pocketbooks.
If millions of Americans each took one minute
to protest this bill, it would cause every senator
who is tempted to vote for it to think twice about
can make this happen within the next few hours
by doing two things:
go to: Savebiogems.org
send your two senators an email or fax, telling
them to vote against this pro-polluter energy
bill. Then, forward my email to at least four
of your friends, family members or colleagues.
am emailing this message to 500,000 BioGems Defenders
and other NRDC activists. If each one forwards
this message to just four more people, we will
generate a national tidal wave of opposition before
this day is over.
that won't be a moment too soon. This disgraceful
bill would pick our pockets to hand out billions
of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to the oil, coal
and nuclear industries. That's their long-awaited
reward for making big-time contributions to the
profit while the rest of us pay the price -- in
tax dollars and environmental degradation. This
bill gives the energy giants a free pass to drill
their way through our last wild places, burn more
dirty coal, build a new generation of risky nuclear
power plants and dramatically increase air pollution
that would sicken the vulnerable -- especially
children and seniors -- for decades to come.
would establish oil and gas development as the
dominant use of our federal public lands, open
national parks to the construction of electricity
transmission lines, exempt polluters from core
provisions of our clean air and water laws and
waive liability for the producers of the toxic
gasoline additive MTBE -- even though it has contaminated
at least 1,500 public water supplies in all 50
be hard-pressed to come up with a more backward-looking,
wasteful and self-defeating energy "plan"
than this one. At a time when the federal deficit
is soaring and we're going to war in the Persian
Gulf oilfields, the White House wants to stick
us with the tab for prolonging our destructive
dependence on fossil fuels, foreign oil and dangerous
is not a national energy policy. This is corporate
welfare, pure and simple. Estimates of the bill's
corporate tax breaks range from $23 billion to
well over $100 billion with loan guarantees included.
No surprise there. Big energy companies cooked
up this raid on the federal treasury during hundreds
of secret meetings with Vice President Cheney's
energy task force and their allies on Capitol
one thing to gouge taxpayers. But to claim this
rip-off is in the national interest, as the White
House would have us believe, is a slap in the
face to every working American.
after poll shows that the vast majority of voters
-- of both parties -- understand that we simply
must reduce our out-of-control appetite for fossil
fuels if we ever are to secure energy independence.
means turning American rooftops into the Persian
Gulf of solar energy. It means producing cars
that get 40 miles per gallon. It means constructing
efficient buildings that use half the energy of
the average American office without sacrificing
comfort. Making this transformation to a super-efficient,
low-pollution economy would save consumers upwards
of a trillion dollars, spare our last wild places
from destruction, improve our health, slow global
warming and reduce our dependence on undemocratic
regimes overseas. It's a no-brainer to anyone
living outside the White House.
unless millions of Americans speak out right now,
the enactment of the president's energy bill will
doom us to an apocalyptic future of blighted wilderness,
poisonous air pollution, devastating climate change
and endless wars over fossil fuels.
make your voice heard. Go to Savebiogems.org
tell your senators to obey the will of the American
people, *not* the dictates of giant energy corporations!
Call on Congress to create a sustainable and affordable
energy path. And please be sure to forward this
message to at least four other people.
me, millions of Americans are just waiting for
a simple way to stop this madness and lend their
support to a sane and hopeful energy future.
Redford Board of Trustees Natural Resources Defense
Posted: January 27, 2004