A bipartisan group of 9 senators voted to block efforts by Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) to pass legislation that would have provided a taxpayer giveaway to cash-rich oil companies, while rolling back clean air protections for millions of Americans. The measure failed to pass the Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee on a vote of 9-9, with Senator Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) joining all 8 Democrats on the Committee to block the measure.
The following is a statement from Earthjustice Legislative Counsel Jim Cox:
“The bill, deceptively labeled the ‘Gas PRICE Act’ (S. 1772), would have granted huge subsidies to an energy industry already rolling in record profits while doing little to ease soaring energy costs. Today’s Committee vote is a victory for clean air and our nation’s public health, and sends a clear message that using the Gulf disaster as an excuse to undermine vital environmental safeguards while Americans pay the price is unacceptable.
“Giving taxpayers’ money to cash-rich oil companies to build more refineries in people’s backyards is not the way to achieve energy independence. Rolling back clean air safeguards does nothing to reduce soaring energy costs. We should not have to choose between clean air and cheaper gasoline. Instead, we deserve an energy plan that not only protects our wallets, but safeguards the air we breathe and the places we live.”