PHILADELPHIA, PA - At a roundtable today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey and a panel of experts discussed new, forward looking energy policies to increase energy independence, strengthen the economy, reduce global warming emissions and protect consumers. Senator Casey discussed his legislation to address rising gas prices and new legislation put forward by Senate Democrats that will be considered in the coming weeks.
“For too long, our national energy policy has focused on rewarding Big Oil rather than investing in new technology that will make us more energy independent and increase our economic, national and environmental security,” said Senator Casey. “My legislation that would invest oil company tax breaks into research on renewable fuels and the energy legislation to be introduced by Senate Democrats give us a new way forward to energy independence.”
Senator Casey was joined at the event at the National Constitution Center by: Joyce M. Ferris, Founder and Managing Partner of Blue Hill Partners; Judith Mondre, Founder and President of Mondre Energy, Inc.; and Josh Tosteson, President and Director of HydroGen. The panel discussed their experience in the public and private sector to pursue sound energy policies that are good for the environment while also saving money and creating jobs.
“The old false choice between a clean environment and job creation is a myth,” said Senator Casey. “The distinguished panel today has proven this with their work. Innovation and forward thinking can create jobs in the United States and also protect our environment and even our national security.”
Senator Casey’s Energy Security and Oil Company Accountability Act would repeal tax breaks currently given to oil companies and instead invest that money in renewable fuels. His bill also imposes a windfall profits tax on oil companies to pay for assistance for those most hurt by rising fuel costs.
Today’s forum was one of three being held around the country this week by Democratic Senators and Senate Leadership in preparation for Senate consideration of energy legislation the week of June 11th. The other events are being held by Senator Tom Harkin in Iowa and Senator Maria Cantwell in Washington. More information on the legislation and upcoming events is available here: https://webmail.senate.ussenate.us/exchweb/bin/redir.asp?URL=http://www.democrats.senate.gov/energy/
The new legislation put forth by Senate Democrats will include the following provisions:
Increases the amount of motor vehicle fuel, home heating fuel and boiler fuel made from renewable biomass.
Increases energy efficiency for federal agencies and buildings. Sets national goals for reducing gasoline usage. Sets efficiency standards for light, for heating and cooling and waterusing products, residential boilers, and home appliances.
Promotes research and testing of carbon sequestration technologies.
Reduces by 20 percent the operating expense of federal buildings in five years through use of more energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling technologies and practices.
Creates a nationwide fleet fuel economy average of 35 mpg by 2020 for passenger cars and light trucks. After 2020, increases the average nationwide fleet fuel economy for passenger cars and light trucks by 4 percent each year.
Gives the President the authority to declare a temporary national energy emergency which triggers a prohibition on price gouging punishable by federal penalties. Bans manipulative practices in the wholesale petroleum markets.
Establishes strategic energy partnerships with the governments of major energy producers and major energy consumers, as well as petroleum crisis response mechanisms.