Greens slam Senate’s energy policy bill

Greens slam Senate’s energy policy bill
© Getty Images

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 McConnellKey GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand Trump hints at new executive action on immigration, wants filibuster-proof Senate majority The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by United Against Nuclear Iran — The Hill interviews President Trump MORE (R-Ky.) and Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).

ADVERTISEMENT

“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 MurkowskiThe Memo: Tide turns on Kavanaugh Budowsky: Kavanaugh and the rights of women Key GOP senators appear cool to Kavanaugh accuser's demand MORE (R-Alaska) and Maria CantwellMaria Elaine CantwellSenators share their fascination with sharks at hearing Poll: Majority of Americans support Roe v. Wade The Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Protests and anger: Washington in turmoil as elections near 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.