Lindeen Backs Energy Plan To Create 3.3 Million Jobs, Reduce Dependence On Foreign Oil
HelenaMonica Lindeen, Democratic candidate for the US Congress, announced today her support for the new Apollo Initiative, an energy plan that takes bold steps toward bringing down gas prices, increasing the use of renewable fuels, breaking America's dependence on foreign oil, and creating good-paying, energy jobs in Montana.
Lindeen criticized her opponent, incumbent Dennis Rehberg, as well as the Bush administration for not backing up their rhetoric about oil addiction with action.
"Our dependence on Middle East oil threatens our national security and our economy," Lindeen said. "Unfortunately, the career politicians in Washington don't seem to get it," said Lindeen. "We don't need another half-hearted proposal by this administration that only results in appearing to want to address the issue. Anyone in Montana buying fuel for their cars, trucks, or farm equipment and sitting at their kitchen table paying their heating bill can tell you what's going on."
Rehberg touts his vote for the President's energy plan last year as evidence of his support for renewable energy, but he supports a budget which drastically under-funds the energy plan. Lindeen stated that the President's current budget fails to match the promises he made in his State of the Union address to bring down energy prices and end America's addiction to foreign oil. The President's budget provides too little for research on renewable energy, while eliminating research on other renewables. The budget also eliminates all funding for bioenergy incentives that help expand the production of ethanol and biodiesel.
While Rehberg called Bush's budget a "well-rounded piece of legislation", the New York Times called the budget proposals "pitiful."
In contrast, the Apollo Initiative pursues four broad strategies that seek to diversify our energy resources, invest in the industries of the future, promote construction of high performance, energy efficient buildings, and drive investment in cities and communities. Analysis of the economic benefits of Apollo shows a potential to add more than 3.3 million jobs, stimulate $1.4 trillion in economic growth, and $284 billion in net energy cost savings. Most importantly, the Apollo Initiative will make an investment in renewable fuels that will make Montana a key producer of America's energy.
Lindeen praised the progress Montana has already made toward developing renewable energy. She cited her votes during the last legislative session in support of developing wind energy, ethanol and biodiesel as evidence that she will continue to lead on this issue (see voting record fact sheet).
Lindeen also criticized Rehberg's misplaced energy priorities. Rehberg voted to cut taxes for oil companies by $406 million in a time where oil companies are posting record profits. He also voted against giving the Justice Department the authority to prosecute oil companies for price gouging, and voted to slash energy assistance for low income Montanans by more than $900 million. Rehberg has taken nearly $125,000 in campaign contributions from oil & gas interests (see voting record fact sheet).
"Instead of rewarding the big oil companies that have given him thousands of dollars in campaign cash, Congressman Rehberg should be working for an energy plan that creates jobs in Montana, reduces fuel prices and takes care of those struggling to pay record winter heating bills," Lindeen said.
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