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 McConnellMulvaney aims to cement CFPB legacy by ensuring successor's confirmation Senate left in limbo by Trump tweets, House delays Political figures pay tribute to Charles Krauthammer 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 MurkowskiHeitkamp ad highlights record as Senate race heats up Icebreaking ships are not America’s top priority in the Arctic 13 GOP senators ask administration to pause separation of immigrant families MORE (R-Alaska) and Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellTrump rips media for not covering 'permanent separations' by undocumented immigrants Energy commission sees no national security risk from coal plant closures OPEC and Russia may raise oil output under pressure from Trump 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.