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Message - Update on energy debate in the Senate
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Posted by  Northern Alaska Environmental Center on March 20, 2002 at 17:10:41:

(News of some note is forwarded here. Apparently, to a majority of US
Senators, energy is still perceived as a nuisance issue, a political
abstraction that doesn't seem to even merit compromise, let alone
forward thinking. The votes described below happened at the same time
news and satellite photos of a large Antarctic ice shelf that has
survived since the last ice age melts into the ocean from a warming
climate. The Arctic Refuge and many other treasures of public trust
are at risk as long as this lack of vision prevails. RD.)

===== A message from the 'arctic-action' mailing list =====


Last week, the US Senate chose to bow to special interests instead of
standing up for energy security and a cleaner environment. Despite
the best efforts of champions such as Senators John Kerry (D-MA),
John McCain (R-AZ) and Fritz Hollings (D- SC), the Senate voted 62-38
to adopt a "do-nothing" fuel economy amendment to the Senate energy
bill. The Levin-Bond(D-MI)/(R-MO) amendment was practically written
by the auto industry and stripped a stronger fuel economy provision
from the bill. To add insult to injury, they then voted 56-44 to
support a Miller (D-GA)amendment that would exclude pick-up trucks,
20% of all vehicles sold, from any future agency efforts to raise
fuel economy. Then, the following day, the Senate voted 70-29 to
oppose the Renewable Portfolio Standard which would have required 20%
of our energy to come from renewable sources by 2020.

Please let your Senator know that with each bad amendment, our
national energy policy becomes less comprehensive and more

1. Please go to the list below to find out how your Senators voted on
these three amendments.

2. Contact your Senators. If your Senators voted "NO" on the
Levin-Bond amendment or exempting pick-up trucks, or if they voted
"YES" on the 20% RPS standard, please THANK them for standing up for
a responsible fuel economy policy and increased use of alternative
energies. However, if they voted "YES" on the Levin-Bond amendment
or exempting pick-up trucks or "NO" on the 20% RPS, please express
your disappointment. Let them know that by voting wrong on these
amendments, they have eliminated some of the most effective tools for
reducing our dependence on oil and decreasing the amount of carbon
dioxide polluting the air and fueling global warming.


Due to the anthrax scare, many Senators are still not receiving
direct mail in Washington, DC. Instead, we recommend writing or
calling your Senators local offices or faxing your letters directly
to their DC offices*. Your Senators' local phone numbers and mailing
addresses can usually be found in your local telephone book.

You can find your Senators' DC fax numbers by calling the U.S.
Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121 and asking for their fax numbers
or going online to our website at
http://www.northern.org/arctic/anwr.htm and clicking on "Washington,
DC, contact information for Senate."

*Please note, many offices disregard or give lower value to emails.
Therefore, we recommend writing, phone or faxing instead. However,
if email is your only option, addresses can be found by going online
to our website at http://www.northern.org/arctic/anwr.htm and
clicking on "Washington, DC, contact information for Senate."


Levin-Bond Exempt Pick-ups 20% RPS
Senators (No=good) (No=good) (Yes=good)
AK Stevens Yes Yes No
AK Murkowski Yes Yes No
AL Sessions Yes Yes No
AL Shelby Yes Yes No
AR Lincoln Yes Yes No
AR Hutchinson Yes Yes No
AZ McCain No No No
AZ Kyl Yes Yes No
CA Boxer No No Yes
CA Feinstein No No Yes
CO Campbell Yes Yes No
CO Allard Yes Yes No
CT Dodd No No Yes
CT Lieberman No No Yes
DE Carper Yes No No
DE Biden No No No
FL Graham No No No
FL Bill Nelson No No No
GA Miller Yes Yes No
GA Cleland Yes Yes No
HI Akaka No No No
HI Inouye No No No
IA Harkin No Yes Yes
IA Grassley Yes Yes No
ID Craig Yes Yes No
ID Crapo Yes Yes No
IL Durbin No No Yes
IL Fitzgerald Yes No Yes
IN Lugar Yes Yes No
IN Bayh Yes No No
KS Brownback Yes Yes No
KS Roberts Yes Yes No
KY McConnell Yes Yes No
KY Bunning Yes Yes No
LA Breaux Yes Yes No
LA Landrieu Yes Yes No
MA Kerry No No Yes
MA Kennedy No No Yes
MD Sarbanes No No Yes
MD Mikulski Yes No Yes
ME Snowe No No Yes
ME Collins No No Yes
MI Stabenow Yes No No
MI Levin Yes No No
MN Dayton No No No
MN Wellstone No No Yes
MO Bond Yes No No
MO Carnahan Yes Yes No
MS Cochran Yes Yes No
MS Lott Yes Yes No
MT Baucus Yes Yes Yes
MT Burns Yes Yes No
NC Helms Yes Yes No
NC Edwards No Yes No
ND Conrad Yes Yes No
ND Dorgan Yes Yes No
NE Ben Nelson Yes Yes No
NE Hagel Yes Yes No
NH Robert Smith Yes Yes No
NH Gregg Yes No No
NJ Corzine No No Yes
NJ Torricelli No No --
NM Domenici Yes Yes No
NM Bingaman No No No
NV Ensign Yes No No
NV Reid No No Yes
NY Schumer No No Yes
NY Clinton No No Yes
OH DeWine Yes Yes No
OH Voinovich Yes Yes No
OK Nickles Yes Yes No
OK Inhofe Yes Yes No
OR Gordon Smith No Yes No
OR Wyden No No Yes
PA Specter Yes No Yes
PA Santorum Yes Yes No
RI Reed No No Yes
RI Chafee No No Yes
SC Thurmond Yes Yes No
SC Hollings No No No
SD Daschle No Yes Yes
SD Johnson Yes Yes No
TN Thompson Yes Yes No
TN Frist Yes Yes No
TX Gramm Yes Yes No
TX Hutchison Yes Yes No
UT Bennett Yes Yes No
UT Hatch Yes Yes No
VA Warner Yes Yes No
VA Allen Yes Yes No
VT Jeffords No No Yes
VT Leahy No No Yes
WA Murray No No Yes
WA Cantwell No No Yes
WI Kohl Yes No No
WI Feingold Yes No Yes
WV Byrd Yes Yes No
WV Rockefeller No Yes No
WY Enzi Yes Yes No
WY Thomas Yes Yes No


Instead of taking meaningful action on fuel economy, the Senate chose
to overwhelmingly support an amendment concocted by Senators. Levin
(D-MI) and Bond (R-MO) that punts the issue to Bush's National
Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and to adds loopholes
that will actually increase oil use. The Levin-Bond amendment
stands in stark contrast to an amendment written by Senators. John
Kerry (D-MA) and John McCain (R-AZ) that proposed to the nation's
fuel economy to 36 mpg by 2015. Due to an extensive lobbying and ad
campaign by the auto industry, the Levin -Bond amendment was able to
capture 62 votes on the Senate floor, effectively killing the
Kerry-McCain proposal. A vote for the Levin-Bond amendment, in
effect, was an endorsement of the status quo, including our dangerous
and growing dependence on oil. NHTSA already has authority to
increase CAFE standards, but has done almost nothing to upgrade
standards since implementing the last Congressionally-mandated
increase in CAFÉ standards passed in 1975.

The Senate then displayed stunningly convoluted logic by first
passing the decision on fuel economy standards to NHTSA and then
subsequently voting for an amendment that permanently exempts pick-up
trucks from the agency's future rulemakings.

Finally, the U.S. Senate defeated an amendment by Senator James
Jeffords (I-VT) that would have required utilities to gradually
increase their percentage of electricity produced from renewable
resources to 20% in 2020. (However, there is still an opportunity to
promote renewable energy in the Senate energy bill. The Energy
Policy Act of 2002 introduced by Senators Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Jeff
Bingaman (D-NM) still contains a federal renewable energy standard of
10% in 2020.)

Please Post and Distribute as Appropriate

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