Senate Fails To Address Nation's Environmental, Energy Needs

On April 25th, Environmental Defense criticized energy legislation passed by the U.S. Senate for favoring fossil fuels over renewable energy and for lacking tough conservation measures — including a specific increase in gas mileage standards for America's cars and trucks.

"Finding environmentally friendly provisions in this bill is like looking for a needle in a haystack. Knowing what is in the House energy package, the conference process could only make it worse," said Environmental Defense legislative director Elizabeth Thompson. "This debate has been more painful than a root canal, and the end result is a bill that does little to promote innovation, conservation or energy security."

One important provision that was rejected during debate on the energy bill was a mandatory increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. Senators also turned back an attempt to increase the bill's modest renewable energy provisions.

"By failing to increase gas mileage requirements and shortchanging investments in renewable energy, the Senate bill locks the U.S. into a future of continued dependence on foreign oil and dirty fossil fuels," Thompson said. "If nuclear power, the coal industry, oil companies and ethanol producers are all pleased with the Senate's energy package that says quite a bit about who is really going to benefit."

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