BRADLEY VOTES AGAINST ENERGY BILL
Thursday, April 21, 2005
(Washington, D.C.) - Today, First District Congressman Jeb Bradley voted against passage of legislation that will adversely affect our environment while putting a financial strain on taxpayers. H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act, will allow for exploratory drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), gives manufacturers of Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MtBE) liability protection against lawsuits, and mandates increased ethanol levels in domestic gasoline. Unfortunately, the bill passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 249 to 183, and now awaits action in the Senate.
"Congress must pass a comprehensive energy bill that will provide for our energy needs while protecting our environment," stated Bradley. "We must increase our investments in energy-efficient technologies and renewable energy and explore alternatives to drilling in ANWR."
H.R. 6 would also provide the manufacturers of MtBE blanket liability protection against lawsuits that would force them to pay for the cleanup costs associated with MtBE groundwater contamination. Rep. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) offered a motion to strike the MtBE liability protection provision from H.R. 6 during floor debate. Bradley supported the motion, which failed by a vote of 213 to 219.
Another troubling aspect of H.R. 6 is the proposed increase of ethanol levels in domestic gasoline. The bill would mandate that 3.1 billion gallons of ethanol must be mixed in gasoline by 2006, increasing to 5 billion by 2012. The bill authorizes $750 million in direct grants to ethanol producers until 2007.
"The expansion of costly ethanol subsidies, as well as the size of the tax incentives, is not right for New Hampshire," Bradley concluded. "Given the size of our current budget deficit, we must do everything we can to ensure that we are spending taxpayers' dollars wisely."