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WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in recognition of the 35th celebration of Earth Day:
“It is truly unfortunate that on Earth Day, Americans must read in their newspapers about the abysmal Republican Energy Bill that passed in the House of Representatives yesterday. In order to make sure that future generations of Americans can enjoy clean air and clean water, we must invest in developing sustainable and environmentally-conscious forms of energy and this legislation misses the mark.
“Having safe, clean, domestic sources of energy is also a national security imperative for the United States. Sadly, the Republican Energy Bill does nothing but provide subsidies for big oil companies, and even protects companies that produce MTBE – a fuel additive that is a suspected carcinogen – from legal liability for contaminating water systems serving millions of Americans. This unforgivable provision puts the Republican special interests ahead of our public health, our environment, our children, and our security.
“Furthermore, this energy bill emerges on the heels of passage in both the House and Senate of Republican budget resolutions that devastate federal funding for environmental protection programs. The budget passed in the House of Representatives cuts $2 billion from environmental and conservation programs for 2006 while the Senate reduces funding even further – $670 million in additional cuts. Without a doubt, the Republican-passed budgets demonstrate a blatant disregard for environmental safeguards.
“In stark contrast, I supported a budget alternative that demonstrated a long-standing commitment to environmental conservation, protection and preservation programs and would have aided in developing additional programs to protect our natural resources.
“We must get serious about the environment before irreparable damage has been done. There is no doubt that Americans can rise to the technological challenge of creating environmentally-friendly sources of energy, and the time for such innovation is now. We owe it to our grandchildren.”