With energy such a vast component of the national economy and homeland security, the U.S. Senate should immediately approve President Bush\’s comprehensive energy plan.
WASHINGTON – With energy demand expected to increase 75-80 percent by 2020, the United States Senate has no time to spare when it comes to considering of the Bush Administration\’s energy policy plan.
"Efficiency and conservation are important aspects of energy policy, but alone they will satisfy less than 50% future growth in energy demand," said taxpayer advocate Grover Norquist, who heads Americans for Tax Reform in Washington. "The House of Representatives voted to expand U.S. domestic energy supply last August, and consumers and taxpayers all across America urge the United States Senate to do the same."
Three key provisions merit special attention by the Senate. They are: (1) Opening the Artic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to very limited and environmentally sound exploration; (2) Preventing corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) automobile standards from soaring to unrealistic and dangerous levels; and (3) Keep gasoline refiners from being required to triple the use of inefficient and damaging ethanol by 2012.
ANWR\’s potential oil yield is equal to at least 50 years of oil imports from Iraq. According to a study by the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis, CAFÉ\’s push for smaller cars would be responsible for a 14 to 27 percent increase in car occupant fatalities. Finally, ethanol currently receives two subsidies: a tax credit for companies blending ethanol, and an exemption from federal excise taxes at the pump. Ethanol causes an increase of vapor lock and clogged fuel lines – and gets an average of 3% fewer MPG than conventional gasoline. According to the Energy Information Administration, "When compared to conventional gasoline, ethanol yielded higher emissions of nitrogen oxide that cause smog."
"Improving national security by addressing energy security must not come at the expense of personal safety and our economy, and it doesn\’t have to," said Norquist. "Exploration in ANWR is not contrary to the conservationist cause, as so many proclaim. One of the little-known secrets kept by the CAFÉ crowd is the fact that smaller cars kill people. Ralph Nader used to say as much – but he\’s been muted on the topic as of late. And the ethanol subsidy is a first-tier waste of taxpayer money – with no demonstrable effects on helping the economy or the environment."