Key Vote Letter on S. 10, the Energy Policy Act of 2005
June 13, 2005
TO MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE:
This week the Senate will consider comprehensive energy legislation. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the world's largest business federation, representing more than three million businesses of every size, sector and region, urges the Senate to approve S. 10, the Energy Policy Act of 2005. S. 10 will help improve our domestic security, ensure the nation has adequate and affordable energy, decrease our dependence on foreign oil, improve our economy, and create jobs.
America's continued long-term economic growth has outstripped its ability to develop and deliver the diverse energy supplies the nation needs to sustain this growth. As a result, for the past five years, the U.S. economy has suffered through severe energy price fluctuations because energy supplies are often barely adequate to meet demand. With manufacturing and job growth showing signs of expansion, it is more important than ever for Congress to lay out a blueprint to guide the future supply, delivery, and use of all forms of energy.
To preserve our high quality of life, protect the jobs of millions of hardworking Americans, and ensure continued economic vitality, our nation needs a comprehensive energy policy to:
- Increase energy efficiency and conservation;
- Assure adequate energy supplies and generation;
Renew and expand the energy infrastructure;
Encourage investment in new energy technologies;
- Provide energy assistance to low-income households; and
- Assure appropriate consideration of the impacts of regulatory policies on energy.
Some 2.4 million jobs have been lost in the manufacturing sector alone during the most recent economic downturn. Passage of S. 10 will lead directly to the creation of hundreds of thousands of jobs. Additionally, S. 10 will help ease the current supply strain on natural gas by: 1) promoting the development of new nuclear power facilities; 2) providing financial incentives to increase reliance on renewable fuels; and 3) allocating extensive funding for research and development of new and more efficient technologies like hydrogen fuel cells and clean-coal projects.
Many amendments are expected over the next two weeks. The Chamber urges opposition to any weakening amendments that would:
- Attempt to establish caps on, or mandatory reporting of, carbon dioxide, a nonhazardous emission;
- Mandate that a minimum percentage of power generated by utilities originate from renewable energy sources (Renewable Portfolio Standard), which, if enacted, would raise electricity prices;
- Mandate significant increases in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards, which would not take into consideration the very important safety aspects of vehicle design; and
- Continue the moratoria on exploration for oil and gas on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) and strike the OCS inventory provision currently in the bill.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce strongly urges you to pass S. 10 before the Fourth of July recess, and to oppose all weakening amendments. We will strongly consider including votes on, or in relation to, S. 10 in our annual How They Voted scorecard.
R. Bruce Josten