CCAGW Objects to Pork-Laden Energy Bill | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Objects to Pork-Laden Energy Bill

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Mark Carpenter/Tom Finnigan
November 18, 2003(202) 467-5300

 

National Energy Policy is Excuse for Local Patronage,” Schatz says

(Washington, D.C.)—The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today blasted House and Senate conferees for authorizing a hodgepodge of corporate giveaways and special interest provisions in the 10-year, $32 billion energy package.  The House is expected to take up the bill today and the Senate could finish the bill by week’s end. 

“Eight years ago, republicans in Congress were calling for the elimination of the Department of Energy,” CCAGW President Tom Schatz said.  “Today, instead of repealing the regulations that stifle innovation in the energy market, they use ‘national energy policy’ as a cover for cushioning home-state interests with federal money.”

CCAGW points to the following special interest spending items in the energy bill:

  • $20 billion for a 3,500-mile pipeline from Alaska to the lower 48 states, including a $20 million worker-training program for pipeline workers.
  • $2.9 billion in corporate welfare for some of the wealthiest corporations in the fossil fuel industry. 
  • $2 billion—double its past subsidy—for ethanol production in the Corn Belt.
  • $1.2 billion for President Bush’s “Freedom Car” initiative, which ostensibly promises commercially viable hydrogen-powered fuel cells.
  • $1 billion for the construction of a nuclear reactor that could produce hydrogen and electricity in Idaho.
  • $800 million for a loan to build a coal gasification plant in Minnesota.
  • $800 million for companies in Texas and Louisiana to compensate for their phase out of the gasoline additive MTBE, which studies have concluded contaminates ground water. 
  • $220 million for an environmental learning center in Iowa.  Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) is insisting on allowing the learning center to sell a type of bond that would pay investors federal income tax credits instead of interest.

While criticizing the pork in the bill, CCAGW praised the provision establishing a pilot program for energy savings performance contracts (ESPCs) for mobile assets at the Department of Defense and other agencies.  “The use of ESPCs is a proven method of saving energy, the environment, and tax dollars,” Schatz concluded.  “But more must be done to make ESPCs permanently available to agencies, through the enactment of H.R. 3339, the National Defense Energy Savings Act.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation's largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.  

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