Next week, Representative Donna M.C. Christensen and others in the House will consider the Cheney energy plan. Although deceptively billed as a balanced package, the measure is in fact full of giveaways to big energy companies, while lacking meaningful advances in energy efficiency and renewables. Its provisions include:
– Oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;
– A car & SUV fuel efficiency increase of less than 1 percent, which is smaller than automakers are already voluntarily doing;
– $13 billion in subsidies for coal, one of the biggest air polluters;
– A $23 billion windfall for the oil industry, despite record profits;
– $2.7 billion in nuclear industry subsidies;
– Restrictions on federal ability to protect public lands;
– A dangerous nuclear technology that risks weapons proliferation;
– No significant efficiency boost for appliances like air conditioners;
– A fossil fuel emphasis that raises the threat of global warming;
– No guaranteed, significant increase in clean, renewable energy use.
While we might wonder how these things affect us, make no mistake that we will feel the trickle down effect of out of control mining for gas, coal and oil. The future stands at our feet. Let us not forget the future of our children and grandchildren. What kind of world do we want them to inherit.
Why in a place where the sun shines 365 days of the year (plus or minus a few) aren't we being encouraged to take advantage of free sunlight? We have the potential to show the our Caribbean neighbors and the World our creative and productive potential with renewable solar and wind energy.
Let's hope Donna M. C. Christensen will see through the "greenwash" and oppose this terrible bill.
Caroline A. Browne