Congress Must Pass BP Disaster Response and Clean Energy Legislation Now

In response to the introduction of BP accountability and energy packages in both the House and the Senate on July 27th, 2010, the Sierra Club issues the following statement.

Statement of Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director

“The Sierra Club supports today’s action by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to respond to the BP disaster, reduce oil dependence, and create clean energy jobs.

It is imperative that Congress pass the two bills put forth by Majority Leader Reid and Speaker Pelosi before the August recess so we can invest more deeply in energy efficiency and hold BP and future polluters fully responsible for the cost of damage and clean-up of their environmental disasters.

The Sierra Club strongly supports the current legislation’s focus on cleaning up and regulating the oil and gas industry through MMS reform and the House Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act. These bills will strengthen industry safety standards and prevent future catastrophes like the BP disaster. We also support provisions to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund and use a small portion of drilling revenues to benefit communities, ecosystems, and economies, and aid in the Gulf recovery.

We remain very supportive of legislation to protect public health and reduce global warming pollution.  Though the bills introduced today are not a substitute for a bold and comprehensive plan to increase the supply of clean energy and to break America’s oil addiction – if passed, they will begin reducing oil consumption and carbon pollution through incentives in the Senate bill for natural gas-powered trucks. And the Senate inclusion of the HOME STAR program that rewards homeowners for purchasing energy-saving fittings for their homes will also create tens of thousands of badly needed jobs.

These bills are a small but important down payment to reduce America’s oil consumption. And in the wake of the largest environmental disaster in American history and with news of two oil accidents today, it is essential that Congress make further progress this fall with a strong, clear plan to get off oil and scale up clean energy.”

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