Kind: Energy Bill is 'Crude' Awakening
July 29, 2005
Lacks long term energy strategy, independence from foreign oil, & relief for consumers
Washington, DC - U.S. Rep. Ron Kind (D-WI), a member of the House Resources Committee, voted for the second time this year to oppose the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (H.R. 6), which Kind contends is a boon to big oil companies and lacks a long-term energy strategy that reduces U.S. dependence on foreign sources of oil or provides real relief for consumers.
"There is no question that our nation needs a comprehensive and balanced plan that is worthy of the 21st century, but this energy bill is teaming with tax breaks for big oil companies already awash in profits, while doing that very little to help the American consumer or lead our country toward energy independence," said Rep. Kind, who was a member of the energy conference committee tasked with ironing out the differences in the House and Senate versions of the bill.
Kind also criticized the legislation for its failure to address the rising costs of energy, which most Americans experience directly when they fill up their vehicles with high-priced gasoline - now at $2.30 per gallon (unleaded). Kind argued that the President should act to suspend deliveries to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and put more oil on the marketplace, which in 2000 brought down gasoline prices by 14 cents per gallon and crude oil prices by $6 per barrel.
While Kind voted against the energy package, he noted that some worthy provisions in the bill have wide bipartisan support, including the conservation investments and renewable fuels standard and ethanol provisions. "I have long stated that empowering U.S. farmers to assume a greater role in producing renewable fuels is a win-win situation good for the farmers of Wisconsin," said Kind.
As a member of the energy conference committee, Kind was also glad to see that some of the objectionable measures he has opposed in previous energy packages were left out, including the provision to allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and liability protections for the producers of the toxic Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE).