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

For Immediate Release
June 7, 2010

Contact: David Willett, 202-675-6698

Lugar Bill Fails to Deliver Clean Energy Future
Sierra Club Urges Lugar to Join Bi-Partisan Energy Effort

WASHINGTON, DC- As the Senate considers several energy provisions this week, the Sierra Club issued the following statement.

Statement of Michael Brune, Sierra Club Executive Director:

We welcome Senator Lugar's efforts to join the discussion over U.S. energy policy in the Senate but unfortunately there are several elements of this bill that fall short of the mark, particularly when it comes to ending our dependence on dirty energy like oil and coal.  We have serious concerns about the bill's failure to reduce our oil dependence, adequately address global warming, and its potential to weaken clean air standards. This bill is simply not the right path to a clean energy economy.

As President Obama has said, it's time to end the cozy relationship Big Oil has with government.   The public is learning more about how the oil industry got around environmental and safety regulations in the Gulf.  Congress must now set ambitious goals, hold polluters accountable, and craft comprehensive climate and energy legislation that works for America's middle class.

The West Virginia coal mine tragedy and the oil disaster currently unfolding highlight the desperate need for a new clean energy economy that ends our self-destructive addiction to dirty energy. We need to move away from dangerous and deadly energy sources towards greater efficiency and cleaner energy. Every day the Senate fails to pass clean energy and climate policy, we put our economy, our national security and our environment at risk. Now is the time to put America back in control of our energy future with comprehensive clean energy and climate legislation.

Given his dedication to energy issues, we hope that Senator Lugar will become actively involved in Majority Leader Reid's and President Obama’s effort to craft a bipartisan, comprehensive climate and energy bill that moves our country beyond our dependence on dirty energy sources such as oil and coal, and into a clean energy economy.

In addition, the Sierra Club urges the Senate to quickly reject Senator Murkowski's resolution to bail out Big Oil and Coal by blocking EPA's ability to enforce the Clean Air Act when it comes up for a vote tomorrow.  The Senate should be spending time responding to the Gulf disaster and moving us towards a clean energy future rather than finding ways to let polluters like Big Oil off the hook.

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