Affordable Energy at Senate Crossroads

Washington, D.C., July 31, 2003— Tomorrow morning the U. S. Senate will hold one of the most important votes this session on the future of affordable energy. Majority Leader Frist has scheduled a vote to invoke cloture and cut off debate on the Senate energy bill, S. 14. Opponents of affordable energy have stalled passage of this key legislation by prolonging debate and offering an endless series of harmful amendments.

“A vote against ending debate is a vote against affordable energy,” said Myron Ebell, CEI's Director of Global Warming Policy. “Consumers all across the country are facing much higher electricity rates and skyrocketing heating bills because of the natural gas crisis. By blocking passage of this bill, Senate opponents are saying that they don't care whether poor and elderly people have to choose between eating and heating this winter.”

“This is the right time to end debate and pass the energy bill.  The hundreds of remaining amendments are nearly all designed to make energy less abundant and raise energy prices. Many of the amendments are just payoffs to special interests.  And several Senators want to use the energy bill to implement the Kyoto global warming treaty, which would eventually lead to energy rationing,” Ebell concluded.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed and sent Chairman Pete Domenici's bill to the floor on April 30. S. 14 has been debated on the Senate floor on nineteen days. The House passed its energy bill, H. R. 6, on April 11.  In the 107th Congress, both the House and Senate passed energy legislation, but it died in conference committee.