Greens slam Senate’s energy policy bill

Greens slam Senate’s energy policy bill
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Environmental and progressive organizations are uniting to oppose the Senate’s broad energy legislation as it heads for a potential vote.

The groups, which include Food & Water Watch, Our Revolution, the Center for Biological Diversity and 350.org, wrote a letter Monday asking senators to oppose the bill, which it casts as backward-looking legislation that would extend the United States’ dependence on fossil fuels.

“In light of the current administration’s overt efforts to make it easier for the fossil fuel industry to pollute our air and water, it is more essential than ever that Congress resist efforts to increase fossil fuel production,” the groups wrote to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellSenate passes 0B defense bill Overnight Health Care: New GOP ObamaCare repeal bill gains momentum Overnight Finance: CBO to release limited analysis of ObamaCare repeal bill | DOJ investigates Equifax stock sales | House weighs tougher rules for banks dealing with North Korea MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

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“No energy legislation is better than bad energy legislation that serves to increase our dependence on dirty fossil fuel production instead of advancing energy efficiency to reduce the amount of energy we utilize and building on successful policies to expand clean energy sources such as solar and wind,” they said.

The legislation, sponsored by Sens. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSenate Dems hold floor talk-a-thon against latest ObamaCare repeal bill Collins skeptical of new ObamaCare repeal effort How Senate relationships could decide ObamaCare repeal MORE (R-Alaska) and Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellSenate energy bill is misguided gift to Trump’s dirty fossil fuel agenda Help states solve their housing problems with the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act Time to pass the U.S. OUTDOOR Act to support American jobs and consumers MORE (D-Wash.), was introduced late last month, and McConnell immediately put it on the Senate calendar. That allows it to go directly to a floor vote and skip committee consideration if McConnell wants to do so.

Like legislation the Senate passed overwhelmingly last year, the bill aims to “modernize” energy policy, including through new infrastructure, cybersecurity protections, expediting natural gas exports and similar policies.

The greens said their objections center on the pro-fossil fuel policies in the bill, like expediting mining and drilling purposes, expanding research into methane hydrate extraction and streamlining the natural gas export approval process.