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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 2, 2010
CONTACT: Josh Dorner, 202.675.2384

House GOP Backs Big Oil Bailout;
EPA Administrator to Face Senate Appropriators Tomorrow 

Washington, D.C.--Half of the House Republican caucus, led by Minority Leader John Boehner, is set to back legislation that guts the Clean Air Act in order to bail out Big Oil. The legislation, mirroring the unprecedented assault against the Clean Air Act being led by Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, would stall new fuel economy rules that will cut America's oil use by 1.8 billion barrels and save consumers nearly $500 a year at the gas pump. The Department of Transportation warned in a letter last week that should this Big Oil bailout pass, it "would have profoundly adverse effects on the national economy, national environmental and energy security objectives, and the economically distressed automobile manufacturing industryThe Department of Transportation's letter can be read HERE.

The "serious, adverse consequences" of gutting the Clean Air Act in order to bail out Big Oil are also likely to come up on Wednesday, when Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson testifies about EPA's FY2011 budget before the Senate Appropriations Committee's Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Subcommittee. Six members of that subcommittee--Senators Murkowski, Nelson of Nebraska, Alexander, Cochran, Bennett, and Gregg--have formally co-sponsored Senator Murkowski's Big Oil bailout plan.  Administrator Jackson herself also warned of the adverse consequences of plans to undermine the Clean Air Act in her own letter to senators last week. 

Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director

"It's breathtaking that dozens of House members and more than 40 senators are now calling for a bailout of Big Oil, even as gas prices--and oil company profits--are once again on the rise. This assault on the Clean Air Act in order to protect Big Oil's is unconscionable. The Senate has not been able to do anything on energy independence, and now these Members of Congress want to do even less.

"Blocking these important rules will not only continue to leave America dangerously dependent on oil, it will harm our already fragile economy. The amount of oil these rules will save us from buying would cost approximatewly $140 billion at today's prices. That's money that could be better spent creating jobs here at home, instead of padding the pockets of America's enemies overseas.

"Instead of distractions, denial, and delay, it's time for Congress to get serious about comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation that will mean more jobs, less pollution, and greater energy independence."

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