February 9, 2005- Energy Department Projects 85% Increase in Oil Imports Under Majority's Energy Bill

WASHINGTON, DC – Representative Edward Markey (D-MA), a senior member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, today denounced the Republicans’ energy bill, which is expected to be voted on soon in the House of Representatives.

“This pork-laden package of special interest giveaways for the oil and gas industry, royalty relief for the big oil companies, liability waivers for MTBE manufacturers, exemptions from the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, and other environmental laws, doesn’t even make us energy independent,” Rep. Markey said.

The Department of Energy’s own Energy Information Administration (EIA) has acknowledged that under H.R. 6, the energy bill conference report from the last Congress, U.S. dependence on oil imports will increase 80% over current levels. Specifically, an EIA’s analysis released last year found that if last year’s energy bill conference report were to be enacted:

· By 2010, energy consumption levels in the U.S. would actually increase by 14.4 percent both under business as usual projections and under the energy bill, indicating that the energy bill would have no effect on short-term consumption levels (see Table 1).

· By 2025, EIA projects that consumption levels will increase by more than 39 percent both under business as usual policies and under the energy bill.

In effect, the EIA report confirms that the energy bill does very little to reduce energy demand through increased energy conservation and energy efficiency.

“We have an opportunity to change direction, and to start the process of crafting a national energy policy that actually makes us energy independent,” Rep. Markey said. “By exploiting America’s unique technological genius, we can make our cars and SUVs more fuel efficient, and reduce natural gas consumption by making our appliances more energy efficient. We also must have a national energy policy that takes full advantage of the opportunities to develop more environmentally sustainable renewable technologies like wind and solar,” Rep. Markey concluded.

For Immediate Release
February 9, 2005

 CONTACT: Tara McGuinness
Jeff Duncan