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End Big Oil's Billion Dollar Bash with Passage of H.R. 6

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Kristin Lee, (202) 785-8683 or kristin_lee@lcv.org January 16, 2007  

Consumers Union–Defenders of Wildlife–Earthjustice

Environmental Defense–Friends of the Earth–Greenpeace

League of Conservation Voters–National Audubon Society

National Environmental Trust–National Wildlife Federation

Natural Resources Defense Council–Sierra Club

The Wilderness Society–U.S. PIRG

                 

End Big Oil’s Billion Dollar Bash with Passage of H.R. 6

Environmentalists Lead Charge for Clean Energy Investments

Washington, DC - Today 70 environmental advocates will flock to Capitol Hill to urge the House of Representatives to pass "The C.L.E.A.N. Energy Act of 2007," H.R. 6, which would close some tax loopholes for big oil companies, and recover royalties from oil and gas produced in public waters.  H.R. 6 would shift more than $13 billion from these subsidies to investments in clean energy, such as energy efficient technologies and renewable power.  The House is scheduled to vote on H.R. 6 on January 18th.  It will be the last of the "Six for ‘06" bills up for consideration during the House’s first 100 legislative hours.

"In sharp contrast to the dirty energy policies of the past, this Congress will hit the ground running with a significant first step toward a clean energy future," said League of Conservation Voters President Gene Karpinski.

"Investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency will create jobs, save money for consumers, and make a down payment on a new energy future," said U.S. PIRG Legislative Director Anna Aurilio.

"Shifting money from big oil to clean energy is an important first step to confront global warming, though this Congress must also directly address warming by capping global warming pollution," stated National Wildlife Federation President Larry J. Schweiger. 

To ensure the House passage of H.R. 6, 70 advocates from a dozen environmental organizations will visit more than 150 representatives and their staff today.  They will urge the representatives – including many newly elected members – to vote for H.R. 6 and chart a new, cleaner energy path for the United States.  In addition, tens of thousands of environmentalists will call or write their representative to urge that he or she vote to shift tax dollars from big oil to clean energy.

H.R. 6 would establish a "clean energy fund" that would create incentives for and investments in energy efficient and renewable power technologies.  These funds could spur the:

 •           construction of wind and solar energy power generation facilities;

•           manufacture of more energy efficient appliances, equipment and buildings; and,

•           purchase of hybrid and fuel efficient cars and trucks.

The resources for the fund would come from the elimination of more than $13 billion in subsidies and tax breaks that benefit the same oil and gas companies that made record profits over the past few years.  The bill would provide a strong incentive for oil companies to renegotiate offshore drilling leases signed in 1998 and 1999 that provided unlimited royalty relief to them.  It would also repeal several royalty relief provisions authorized in the Energy Policy Act of 2005.  H.R. 6 would strike several recently enacted tax loopholes.

Proponents of these subsidies claim that they spur oil and gas production.  However, a recent study by the U.S. Department of Interior found that they led to "only a tiny increase in production."  (New York Times, 12/22/06)

"Families paid high prices at the pump while the oil industry earned record profits and got big subsidies from us.  Removal of loopholes and investment in clean energy technology are welcome steps in the right direction," noted Consumers Union Senior Policy Analyst Ann Wright.

"More than ever, America needs energy policies to reduce our dependency on oil and spur further development of clean and renewable energy sources here at home," said Greenpeace energy campaigner Kate Smolski.

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