Future Energy eNews May 24, 2002

It's a sad day

on Capitol Hill when not enough letters have been received by constituents here in the US to sway neither the House nor the Senate toward energy efficiency and alternatives. IRI policy is that future energy sources are emerging that will replace fossil fuels. However, now is the time to write to your Senator and Representative and demand at least a 10% Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) for the US by 2020 while bills are still pending. The US DOE has already proven even a 20% RPS will cost no more than "business as usual." See below what the Alliance to Save Energy, the Sierra Club, and the Natural Resources Defense Fund are doing to legally fight for what is right. Then, let the Sierra Club send a letter to Congress on your behalf as soon as possible to fix the Senate's dirty energy bill by increasing renewable energy sources and increasing fuel efficiency standards. Do it today!

1) House, Senate Energy Bills Head to Conference
Alliance to Save Energy Offers Comparison of Two Disparate Bills

This year, the House and Senate voted against energy efficiency in their respective energy bills, even when the cost was minimal and the impact significant. A set of provisions remains which represents a missed opportunity to help ease our national energy problems more quickly, cleanly, and cheaply than other alternatives. In its report card on the two bills, the Alliance gave the House a D- and the Senate a D+ for their efforts on efficiency. As the bill heads for Conference committee, efficiency advocates are focused on six issues: tax incentives; auto fuel economy; appliance standards; electricity; federal energy management; and research and development. The Alliance has compiled a 25-page comparison of the House and Senate bills.(The Alliance has a great website: www.ase.org )

2) Summers Will Be More Expensive, Dirtier, Under Proposed Air Conditioner Rules
SEER 12 Announcement Made Final

Summers will be more expensive for consumers, dirtier for the environment - and possibly even hotter if the nation's electric systems are disrupted during peak demand - all because of new Bush Administration regulations weakening the energy efficiency of air conditioners and heat pumps. The long-expected regulations, to be published in the Federal Register on Thursday, call for lower air conditioners energy efficiency standards than are currently in place. Seven states and numerous organizations have sued the Administration over the proposed rollback. More

3) First Hearing in Sierra Club Suit Against Cheney Energy Task

First Hearing in Suit Against Cheney Energy Task Force
Tomorrow Sierra Club Asking for Full Accounting of
Task Force Meetings with Polluting Industries

May 22, 2002

Washington, DC: The first hearing in the Sierra Club's lawsuit against the Cheney Energy Task Force will be held tomorrow, Thursday, May 23 at 10:00 AM before Judge Emmet Sullivan in Federal District Court.

The Sierra Club argues that by refusing to tell the public what kind of influence energy industries had over America's national energy policy, the Cheney task force violated the Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA). The Sierra Club is asking the court to require Vice President Cheney and other defendants to disclose to the American people what went on behind closed doors in the creation of the national energy policy. The suit has been consolidated with a similar suit filed by Judicial Watch. Tomorrow the court will consider the U.S. government's motions to dismiss both lawsuits.

"When the Bush Administration wrote its energy policy, big oil and energy companies were given the red-carpet treatment, but the public was shut out of the process," said Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club. "Americans deserve to know what happened behind those closed doors, and the law requires it."

The Sierra Club filed this lawsuit after the Bush Administration refused to divulge how much influence big energy companies like Enron and oil and coal producers had in writing the nation's energy policy, despite numerous requests from Congress and others.

"It's extremely unfortunate that it takes a lawsuit to learn how much influence polluting companies had over a policy affecting all Americans and generations to come. If the Administration had conducted their meetings in the light of day, we wouldn't need this lawsuit," continued Pope.

The energy policy that ultimately came out the Administration relies on technologies that will pollute our air and water, destroy special places and fail to reduce our dependence on oil and coal. At the very least, the American people deserve an explanation of why the Administration chose this path rather than safer and cleaner technologies that would protect the environment and save consumers money at the same time.

The Sierra Club is asking for a full accounting of what happened behind closed doors of the Cheney Energy Task Force, including: who was in the room; what proposals did the energy industry executives and lobbyists make; what documents did the energy industry submit; and what Task Force documents did they review.

Sierra Club Policy Statements and Links

The Sierra Club realizes that we can't drill, dig or destroy our way out of our energy problems. That's why we're pushing for a more honest, balanced policy that promotes energy efficiency, uses clean renewable energy like wind and solar power, and emphasizes responsible production. Americans need an energy policy that provides quicker, cleaner, cheaper, and safer solutions.

See what America would look like under the Bush energy plan. Where does he plan to put those 1,300 new power plants? What if they are evenly distributed throughout the US?

Help fix the Senate's dirty energy bill. Tell them to support renewable energy sources and better fuel economy standards. Click here to have the letter written and sent for you!

June 1, 2001: Vice President Cheney has stated repeatedly that the Bush energy policy contains 11 of 12 proposals recently outlined by the Sierra Club. Truth, or misrepresentation? Judge for yourself. (pdf file, 53K)

May 17, 2001: Two factsheets - A Balanced Energy Plan and Why Bush's Energy Plan Won't Work.

May 17, 2001: Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director, about the Bush energy plan.

4) NRDC Issues Subpoena to Former Head of Energy Task Force Group Seeking to Depose Andrew Lundquist

April 30, 2002

WASHINGTON | Yesterday, NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) issued a subpoena to the director of Vice President Cheney's energy task force. The group wants to depose Andrew Lundquist and force the Energy Department to finally hand over records of who consulted with him to formulate the Bush energy policy.

"As the administration's top official on the task force, Andrew Lundquist ran the show for Vice President Cheney," said NRDC senior attorney Sharon Buccino. "The public is entitled to know what he knows."

Because Lundquist headed the energy task force as an employee of the Department of Energy (DOE), he was subject to NRDC's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. But the agency failed to include his records among the more than 12,000 court-ordered documents provided to NRDC.

Lundquist is a former top aide to Republican Sens. Frank Murkowski and Ted Stevens of Alaska. He was appointed in January 2001 to serve as executive director of the National Energy Policy Development Group, the official name of the energy task force. After the task force disbanded in September, Lundquist served as an advisor on energy policy to Vice President Cheney. He left the White House on March 28, 2002, to start his own consulting firm in Washington. He also is reportedly serving as an officer and board member at an undisclosed company.

"As the key staffer directing the work of the energy task force, Lundquist's records contain critical missing pieces to the energy puzzle. It's disconcerting, but not surprising, that the Energy Department is trying to keep the lid on his information," said Buccino. "But administration officials are not above the law. They can and will be held accountable to the citizens they serve."

NRDC requested the energy task force documents over a year ago under FOIA, and filed a lawsuit to get the documents after being rebuffed by the administration. NRDC is represented in its lawsuit by the Washington, D.C., law firm of Meyer and Glitzenstein. ( http://www.nrdc.org/media/pressreleases/020430.asp )

Related NRDC Pages Search the Task Force Records NRDC's Review of the Bush Administration Energy Task Force Records NRDC's Notice of Deposition to Andrew Lundquist NRDC Press Releases NRDC Home Page

Forwarded as a courtesy from: http://www.integrityresearchinstitute.org

Visit our site to see in what way you can help us help others.