Senate Must Act Now on Oil & Clean Energy

In response to an announcement by Majority Leader Harry Reid that the Senate will move a limited package of oil disaster response and energy measures to the floor, the Sierra Club issues the following statement.

Statement of Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director

“Given the unfortunate political reality in Washington today, it is absolutely imperative that the Senate must at least follow through with Majority Leader Reid’s proposal to pass a bill that reduces oil dependence and creates clean energy jobs before the August recess.

It’s an outrage that corporate polluters can rely on a minority of Senators to block action to put a price on carbon pollution when conservationists, labor, veterans, communities of faith, small businesses and everyday citizens all agree it’s the right thing to do. We remain strongly supportive of legislation to reduce global warming pollution and urge the Senate to move on it as quickly as possible, but the Senate must at least pass an oil disaster response and clean energy package now.  

The Sierra Club will do everything in its power during this fall’s elections to make sure that our environmental champions can return to Congress with a demand to finish the job with more legislation to create more jobs, less pollution and greater security.  And we will hold accountable those who have blocked efforts to reduce pollution and create clean energy jobs.

The Sierra Club believes an energy package for this July must reduce oil consumption and address the root causes of the BP oil disaster–Senator Merkley’s proposal to cut oil consumption by 8 million barrels a day would be a good place to start.  In addition, the bill must ensure that BP and future polluters are held fully responsible for the cost of damage and clean up for such disasters.  The bill should include a strong Renewable Electricity Standard, and investments in clean energy and efficiency that will create jobs and spur economic growth, as well as measures to significantly reduce carbon pollution.    

We remain deeply concerned about efforts by polluters to weaken the Clean Air Act or the EPA’s ability to reduce air pollution and protect public health.  The Senate’s negotiations with industry must not result in give-aways to dirty energy companies at the expense of communities’ health and well-being.”

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