Senate Energy Committee Bill Fails to Deal with Tough Issues, Says Alliance to Save Energy

Release Date: Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Senators Sticking Heads in Sand

By failing to deal with fuel economy and other energy-efficiency needs, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee has failed American consumers and their pocketbooks, our environment and national security, the Alliance to Save Energy said today.

“The Senate Energy Committee must be sticking its head in the sand – perhaps hoping to strike oil there,” said Alliance President David M. Nemtzow. “Only in comparison with the production-heavy House bill does the Senate proposal take on the thinnest veneer of acceptability.

“By failing to adopt meaningful fuel economy increases or other significant energy efficiency measures – or even to close the gaping SUV loophole – the Senate Energy Committee bill actually would increase the nation’s growing and deadly oil dependence, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions,” Nemtzow said.

The bill does include a few modest energy-saving provisions, but as a whole it fails to achieve balance between a “dig and drill” approach and energy efficiency. The positive features include:

  • New efficiency standards for certain products;
  • Authorization for new types of energy-savings performance contracts (ESPCs);
  • Increased energy-saving targets for federal agencies

When the energy bill comes to the floor, the Senate will also consider worthwhile tax incentives for highly efficient homes (new and existing), cars and light trucks, appliances, commercial buildings, advanced meters and other products that were passed by the Senate Finance Committee on April 2.