Decking the Halls of Congress With Holiday Cheer

A holiday ode to the energy bill


Cat Lazaroff, Earthjustice, 202-667-4500 x 213
Rob Perks, NRDC, 202-289-2420

In the spirit of the holidays, the “Clean Energy Chorus” — carolers from various environmental organizations-–will visit Capitol Hill legislative offices today to remind lawmakers that the energy bill is a Christmas gift to corporate polluters. The bill stalled in Congress due to a filibuster threat, but like a fruitcake, this bill is sure to stick around well after the holidays. In fact, the National Journal reports that high-level Bush administration officials met earlier this month with gas, oil, mining and nuclear lobbyists to discuss strategy for persuading senators to vote for the measure when Congress reconvenes next year.

Below is what the “Clean Energy Chorus” will be singing (following each verse is useful background information). Click here to download a file and listen to the song. You can also catch the carolers in action, starting at 2:30 pm when they begin their festive tour at the Hart Senate Office Building (departing from the Calder sculpture).

A Holiday Ode to the Energy Bill

On the first day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

Nearly 100 major newspapers across the country wrote over 100 editorials opposing the energy bill. Only four supported it. These are just a sample:

“Another look at a ‘monster’ bill,” Charleston, S.C., Post & Courier, 11/24/03

“Energy swill: Stalled bill is nothing but pork to feed oil, power industries’ bottom lines,” Easton (PA) Express-Times, 11/23/03

“A recent GAO report showing Dick Cheney’s secrecy about his meetings with energy executives has left a hole in the administration’s credibility and raised questions about its energy policy.” St. Petersburg Times, 8/29/03

On the second day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

“The Hooters girls, of all people, have emerged as the poster children for wasteful spending in the $23 billion energy bill moving through Congress. Government watchdog groups have portrayed the nearly 1,400-page bill, crafted by House and Senate Republicans, as a grab bag of special-interest giveaways. None is as, uh, sexy as a $180 million tax credit for the proposed ‘Louisiana Riverwalk’ shopping mall in Bossier City. A Hooters restaurant is one of the tenants.” New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/19/03

On the third day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

“The bill isn’t the ticket to national energy independence that its advocates claim. Rather, it would make the United States more dependent on fossil fuels by failing to adequately promote such renewable energy sources as hydrogen, solar and wind and to take advantage of energy conservation.” Dallas Morning News, 10/28/03

“It [energy bill] not only fails to cut the country’s dependence on Middle East oil but also weighs heavily on the budget deficit.” Business Week, 12/01/03

On the fourth day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

“The energy bill contains …numerous oil and gas leasing provisions that could diminish conservation measures on public lands for water resources, wildlife and fish habitats, and scenic landscapes.” — Hunters and Anglers Agree: Public Lands Provisions of Energy Bill Unwise, letter by Trout Unlimited, 13 other sportsmen’s’ organizations, 11/18/03

On the fifth day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

“The bill, put together in private meetings over many months, includes: Sky-high tax breaks for oil, gas, coal and nuclear power companies.” Kansas City Star, 11/19/03

“Energy bill suffers from too much pork…a package larded up with special interest giveaways,” Detroit News, 11/23/03

For more information: New Energy Future backgrounder

On the sixth day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

The energy bill would “weaken states’ ability to contest offshore drilling plans that pose a threat to their coasts. It would streamline environment reviews, rewarding states that encouraged offshore drilling, while withholding funds from states that sought to protect their coasts.” Tampa Tribune, 11/21/03

On the seventh day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

“Three Iowa towns would lose their right to fight for clean water under the energy bill now before the Senate. The bill would deny…their chance to seek help from Big Oil in removing gasoline-borne poisons from their drinking water…To date, 131 cities and one state (New Hampshire) have initiated legal action against Big Oil.” Des Moines Register, 11/20/03

On the eighth day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

“Twenty-three billion dollars of the more than $25 billion in tax cuts will go to producers of nonrenewable fossil fuels such as coal, gas and especially oil.” Rochester, NY, Democrat and Chronicle, 11/21/03

On the ninth day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

“This energy bill turns back the clock on a policy that was rejected by the courts and by EPA, and leaves nearly 130 million Americans breathing unhealthy air,” said Angela Ledford, Director of Clear the Air.

“A provision in the energy bill will delay for years pollution reductions needed to achieve ozone smog clean air standards in the dirtiest areas. This new analysis by Abt Associates finds that meeting the standards would avoid: over 387,400 asthma attacks; almost 4,900 hospitalizations due to respiratory distress; and over 573,300 missed school days.” (Source: Clear the Air, 11/18/03)

For more information: Clear the Air release

On the tenth day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

“By spurring use of fossil fuels, especially coal, this bill would actually accelerate global warming and do little to make the United States less dependent on foreign petroleum.” Boston Globe, 11/20/03

On the eleventh day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

The energy bill includes “tax breaks for new nuclear power plants.” Toledo Blade, 11/21/03

“Energy Bill Dumps $6 Billion In New Tax Credits To The Nuclear Power Industry,” U.S. PIRG, 11/17/03

On the twelfth day of Congress, the White House gave to me…

“Two-thirds of the incentives will go to administration supporters in the coal, oil, and natural gas industries.” Toledo Blade, 11/21/03

“No one should be so surprised that the pockets of the petroleum industry will be well-lined if this becomes law. The legislation arrives via a secret task force run by Vice President Dick Cheney.” Lansing State Journal, 11/21/03

The energy and natural resources industry gave $57.8 million in campaign contributions during the last election cycle, and has already given $12.8 million in this cycle. Republicans received 75% of these contributions. Source: The Center for Responsive Politics


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