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Press Room:  For Immediate Release 
Explore, Enjoy and Protect the Planet

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 24, 2009
CONACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384

The Broken Record (4/24):
Gingrich to Follow Testimony of Gore, Warner

Washington, D.C.—The defenders of dirty energy are going out of their way today to prove how bankrupt their ideas are by resurrecting one of those most polarizing and divisive figures from the 1990s.  After the House Energy & Commerce Committee hears testimony underscoring the bipartisan support for its clean energy jobs plan from Nobel Laureate and former Vice President Al Gore and former Virginia Senator John Warner, one of his party's most respected voices on national security and other issues, the committee will then hear from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.  Follow the action live at Compass.  The committee will hear testimony from four panels today:
*Vice President Al Gore and Senator John Warner 
*Newt Gingrich
*Energy Efficiency, Transportation, Building Appliances, and Utilities
*Carbon Market Assurance, State Roles, Clean Air Act, and Adaptation

Yesterday's Lowlight:
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) says Americans will only drive hybrids under military force: Barton not only said that hybrids don't pay for themselves over time, which isn't true, but he said that Americans will drive them when forced to do so by the government, "backed by the army."  Toyota, Honda, Ford, and General Motors will be happy to tell you that this is not the case.  Indeed, as far as back as 2007, sales of the Prius already exceeded those of the Ford Explorer, which had been the best-selling SUV for a decade.  Ironically, Barton's own district is home to a General Motors plant that makes the automaker's hybrid SUVs.

Yesterday's Highlight: 
Students from the Sierra Student Coalition and their allies at the Energy Action Coalition continue to make their presence felt in force, both in the hearing room and around Capitol Hill.  Follow their own live reporting on Twitter: @PowerShift09.

Three Quick Facts about Newt Gingrich:

  • Gingrich played a central role in advancing the discredited Big Lie that offshore drilling would lower gas prices: Before there was "drill, baby, drill," Gingrich was aggressively pushing the even more disingenuous "Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less."  At the height of the offshore drilling hysteria being advanced by Gingrich and the GOP Leadership, even the Bush administration itself admitted that expanded offshore drilling would do nothing to lower prices today, tomorrow, or even a decade from now.  Big Oil's best friends can pick their poison, but they should not forgot that "drill, baby, drill" lost to "New Energy for America."
  • Gingrich's "American Solutions for Winning the Future" is funded by Peabody Coal and conservative billionaires: ASWF has not only promoted expanded offshore drilling, but almost every other dirty and dangerous energy non-solution out there, including: oil shale, liquid coal, and tar sands.  The group has received over $250,000 from Peabody Coal, a huge proponent of the mountaintop removal mining that is decimating Appalachia and has destroyed hundreds of miles of stream, as well as millions more from the usual set of hyper-conservative billionaires behind right-wing causes.
  • Gingrich behind congressional GOP's obstructionist strategy, "tea parties": Gingrich's strategy in the 1990s was to obstruct President Clinton at every turn.  The current GOP leadership in Congress openly admits that they are modeling their own "just say no" to the Obama agenda strategy after Gingrich.  The New York Times recently reported that House GOP Whip Eric Cantor "said he had studied Mr. Gingrich's years in power and had been in regular touch with him as he sought to help his party find the right tone and message."  Gingrich's ASWF was also behind many of the April 15 "tea parties" orchestrated by conservative groups such his own and FreedomWorks, a group lead by his former House GOP colleague Dick Armey.

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