August 8, 2006 - CANDLES EXPLODE ON BUSH ENERGY BILL BIRTHDAY CAKE

MEDFORD, MA -- On the one year anniversary of President Bush’s signing the Republican Energy Policy Act of 2005 into law, Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-MA), a senior Member of the House Energy and Commerce and House Resources Committees, issued the following statement:

"One year ago today, President Bush said at the signing of this bill, ‘The Energy Policy Act of 2005 is going to help every American who drives to work, every family who pays a power bill, and every small business owner hoping to expand.”

“But the candles have exploded on this birthday cake.  In the year since the President signed the Republican Energy bill into law, gasoline prices are now more that $0.71 higher.  As of April of this year, average electricity bills paid by residential had increased by $0.69 over the same time last year.  And small business owners are facing a triple whammy of higher gasoline bills, higher air conditioning and heating bills, and higher electricity bills.

“The Republican Energy Bill has turned out to be a boom for the Big Oil companies, but it’s a big bust for the American consumer.

“The energy bill provided billions in new tax breaks, royalty-free drilling rights, and special regulatory exemptions for the oil industry.  And in the last year, Big Oil has done quite well -- with BP, Exxon-Mobil, Shell, and Chevron all reporting record profits. What have they done with all of these profits?  Well what is more glaring is what they haven’t done:  they haven’t invested in alternative energy sources or in significant new exploration. 

“And we learned yesterday that BP hasn’t even spent its bulging profits on basic pipeline maintenance, forcing a complete shutdown of their Prudhoe Bay operations due to a massive buildup of sludge in BP pipelines that have not been cleaned for as long as 15 years.

“As a result of the Republican’s failed energy policies, and beyond the skyrocketing cost of gasoline, consumers are facing spiraling energy costs across the board.  In 2006, families are paying $3,200 more in household costs than in 2001 due to rising energy costs and gas prices, which have reached the second highest level in history.

“The GOP energy bill also provided a smorgasbord of special interest subsidies for the nuclear industry, the utility industry, and the coal industry, while giving precious little for alternative energy such as solar, wind, or conservation.  Just yesterday, Energy Secretary Bodman announced a $2 billion loan guarantee program for companies that build new nuclear reactors.  Nuclear power is a mature technology, and one that does not deserve to receive additional government subsidies.  Where is the federal support for emerging alternative energy technologies – for solar power, wind power, or super-efficient superconducting wires?  It’s nowhere to be seen.  The Bush Energy Department appears to have a ‘no dough unless you glow’ approach to energy technologies.”

“Democrats are committed to a new direction that would end America’ dependence on foreign oil, promote more fuel efficient motor vehicles, greater use of hybrids, alternative energy sources like ethanol and celluosic fiber, and other renewable energy sources like solar and wind energy.

Markey has sponsored or cosponsored legislation that would:
    · Mandate that the fuel efficiency of cars, SUVs and minivans be increased to an overall fleet average of 33 miles per gallon by         2016;

    · Repeal laws allowing oil and gas companies to continue drilling on some offshore public lands for free – regardless of market         prices, and require these companies to renegotiate all existing contracts to suspend “royalty-free” drilling rights when prices are         high;

    · Repeal tax breaks, government subsidies, and special-interest regulatory exemptions for the oil and gas industry in last year’s     energy bill;

    · Mandate that all motor vehicles sold in the U.S. by 2016 be capable of operating on alternative fuels, such as ethanol or E-85;

    · Repeal special tax breaks for the purchase of gas-guzzling SUVs and the special exemption SUVs have from the gas-guzzler         tax;

    · Impose a windfall profits tax on the oil and gas companies, and use the proceeds from this tax to help cut energy bills for all         consumers and increase funding for low-income heating assistance;

    · Provide tax credits for highly energy-efficient commercial buildings, homes, and appliances; and,

    · Reduce government subsidies for nuclear reprocessing R&D and transfer these funds for energy efficiency programs.

For more information on Rep. Markey’s work on energy policy please visit http://markey.house.gov
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 8, 2006
CONTACT: Israel Klein
202.812.8193