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Duckworth: Roskam Ducking Energy Issue as Leaders of Congress Buy His Silence

Location: Lombard, IL

Duckworth: Roskam Ducking Energy Issue as Leaders of Congress Buy His Silence

Sixth District Congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth today accused her opponent, state Senator Peter Roskam, of ducking the critical issue of energy independence while receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from congressional leaders who "gave away the store" to big oil companies.

"For our long-term security, there is no more important challenge facing our country than weaning ourselves from foreign oil," said Duckworth, a veteran of the war in Iraq. "Yet, while campaigning for over a year, Peter Roskam has not offered a single idea to promote our nation's energy independence. It's not even mentioned on his campaign website."

"Maybe his lack of interest in alternatives to foreign oil stems from the hundreds of thousands of dollars he's taken in contributions from the leaders of this Congress, who are in the pocket of the oil companies," Duckworth said. "Roskam even praised the energy bill they passed last year, which provided billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to oil and gas companies while they are enjoying record profits." (Daily Herald, 7/4/2006)

Peter Roskam has received more financial contributions from the Republican Leadership Political Action Committees (PACs) then any other non-incumbent Congressional candidate in the country and the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has spent over $230,000 supporting Peter Roskam. The Republican Leadership PACs and the NRCC receive strong support from the oil and gas industry. The NRCC has received almost $800,000 this cycle from the oil and gas industry alone (Center for Responsive Politics).

"It's no accident that these Leadership PACs get much of their funding from oil and gas interests," Duckworth said. "Those companies are simply rewarding the leaders of Congress for a job well done on their behalf."

"Frankly, we need a Congress that puts energy independence ahead of rewarding the oil and gas companies with our tax dollars," Duckworth said. "I'll fight for that kind of Congress. Peter Roskam will be a rubber-stamp for the status quo."

In her campaign, Duckworth has laid out specific plans to move our country toward energy independence. They include repealing the billions in subsidies for energy companies in last year's energy bill and redirecting it toward research and development of renewable fuels.

She also has proposed legislation that would require big oil companies to sell ethanol-based E-85 fuel at ten percent of their gas stations. While six million current vehicles can operate on that fuel, the oil companies won't make it available because they make a greater profit from selling gas. Duckworth noted that there are only three stations in the entire Sixth Congressional District currently selling E-85 fuel.

Duckworth said that Roskam has been consistent in his hostility toward alternative energy sources, noting that he was the only member of the state Senate to vote against tax incentives for consumers who use E85 and biodiesel in 2003 (SB 46, 3/26/2003).

"Apparently, Peter Roskam thinks his constituency is oil company executives and the current Republican leadership in Congress instead of local families paying higher and higher prices for a tank of gas," Duckworth said.

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