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McCaskill Offers Long-Term Solutions To Energy Crisis

Location: St. Louis, MO

McCaskill Offers Long-Term Solutions To Energy Crisis

April 27, 2006

ST. LOUIS -- U.S. Senate Candidate Claire McCaskill said that President Bush's decision this week to delay deposits into our nations' Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) until fall was a step in the right direction, but again emphasized the need to do more to promote the long-term energy independence of the U.S. She noted that the delay of SPR deposits, which could help lower the cost of gasoline, was long overdue and only spurred by pressure from the public and the President's own party.

"Although it was long overdue, the President's announcement is a positive short-term remedy for Missouri consumers who have been unfairly burdened at the gas pump," said McCaskill.

McCaskill continued, "However, this remedy is ultimately like putting a band-aid on a fatal wound. Rather than promoting long-term and meaningful solutions to our energy crisis, such as investment in alternative and renewable energy, the President has attached himself to short-term fixes that will do nothing to reduce America's dependence on Middle Eastern oil."

The Republican Party's misguided priorities are nowhere more evident than in the 2005 energy bill. The Energy Bill, strongly supported by Jim Talent, gave billions of dollars in tax breaks and subsidies to oil companies, who were already posting record profits, while short-changing alternative energy sources like ethanol, biomass, and switchgrass and doing little to spur investment in energy efficiency. McCaskill affirmed her opposition to the bill, which she believes was designed to help big oil and its lobbyists rather than Missouri farmers and consumers.

"In last year's Energy Bill, the oil companies got the steak dinner, and the ethanol and renewable energy industries got the saltine crackers," McCaskill said. "It should be the other way around. As Missouri's Senator, I will make sure that investment into alternative energy is the cornerstone of any energy bill I support."

Ethanol is one of the most promising forms of alternative energy on the market today. Not only will investment in ethanol promote our energy independence, but it will also be a boon to Missouri consumers and farmers. A 2006 study by the Missouri Corn Growers Association found that ethanol production in Missouri could potentially increase economic activity in the state by $350 million. Due to these myriad benefits, McCaskill firmly believes that ethanol and renewable energy deserve a bigger share of funding in future energy legislation.

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