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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 17, 2008
Sierra Club Responds to Sen. McCain’s Energy Speech
Washington, D.C.—Senator John McCain is slated to give a major policy address on energy issues later today in front of an audience of oil industry executives in Houston.
Yesterday Senator McCain called for lifting a nearly three decade old federal moratorium on drilling off of our coasts. "There are areas off our coasts that should be open to exploration and exploitation, and I hope we can take the first step by lifting the moratoria," said Senator McCain.
Statement of Carl Pope, Sierra Club Executive Director
"Instead of siding with the hardworking American families being exploited by an energy industry awash in record profits, Senator McCain supports allowing Big Oil to begin the wholesale "exploitation" of our coasts. Rather than offering consumers real relief from skyrocketing energy prices, Senator McCain’s plan would merely pad Big Oil’s bottom line while putting thousands of miles of pristine beaches and coastline at risk.
"While he refuses to support the incentives for renewable energy needed to make the clean energy future a reality, Senator McCain wants more of the same reckless and outdated energy policies that President Bush and his allies in Congress have pushed for the past seven years: more ‘traditional coal,’ more oil, and more nuclear power. These disastrous policies have enriched special interests while devastating both our economy and our environment.
"If Senator McCain is really interested in breaking our addiction to oil, putting America back to work, and tackling global warming, we urge him to reconsider his support for the failed policies of the past. It’s time for Senator McCain to support the common sense plan put forth by the Senate leadership, the Consumer-First Energy Act. This plan would make sure the oil industry is paying its fair share, crack down on speculators, put our economy back on the path to prosperity, help end our dangerous dependence on fossil fuels, and fight global warming. We urge Senator McCain to choose wind farms, not more windfalls for Big Oil. “
Selected Excerpts from Senator McCain’s Houston Energy Speech
Sen. McCain: “The next president must be willing to break with the energy policies not just of the current Administration, but the administrations that preceded it, and lead a great national campaign to achieve energy security for America.”
Sen. McCain: “Over time, we must shift our entire energy economy toward a sustainable mix of new and cleaner power sources. This will include some we use already, such as wind, solar, biofuels, and other sources yet to be invented”
Sen. McCain: “Investigation is underway to root out this kind of reckless wagering, unrelated to any kind of productive commerce, because it can distort the market, drive prices beyond rational limits, and put the investments and pensions of millions of Americans at risk. Where we find such abuses, they need to be swiftly punished. And to make sure it never happens again, we must reform the laws and regulations governing the oil futures market, so that they are just as clear and effective as the rules applied to stocks, bonds, and other financial instruments. In all of these markets, reform must assure transparency, prevent abuse, and protect the public interest.”
Sen. McCain: “As for offshore drilling, it’s safe enough these days that not even Hurricanes Katrina and Rita could cause significant spillage from the battered rigs off the coasts of New Orleans and Houston.”
Sen. McCain: “At the very least, one might assume, America had surely been building new refineries to achieve a more efficient delivery of gasoline to market, and thereby to lower the prices paid by the American people especially in the summer season. But the policymakers in Washington haven’t got around to that, either. There’s so much regulation of the industry that the last American refinery was built when Jerry Ford was president.”
Sen. McCain: “Nuclear power is among the surest ways to gain a clean, abundant, and stable energy supply, as other nations understand.”
Sen. McCain: A gas tax holiday is “the most direct and obvious way to give Americans a break at the gas station.”
All quotes are from excerpts of the text of Senator McCain’s remarks as prepared for delivery at 5 p.m. to energy industry executives in Houston.
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