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Hinchey, Shays Reintroduce Energy for Our Future Act

In advance of Earth Day, bipartisan bill would reduce consumption and dependence on foreign oil

Washington, D.C , April 19th, 2007 - – With Earth Day approaching, Representatives Maurice Hinchey (D-NY) and Christopher Shays (R-CT) today reintroduced the Energy for Our Future Act (H.R. 1945), a comprehensive bipartisan energy reform bill that seeks to decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil, protect the environment, build a market for renewable energy, and promote energy conservation.

"The sooner the U.S. faces the inevitable reality that we must turn away from oil and embrace clean alternative energy sources, the better off our country and planet will be," Hinchey said. "Raising efficiency standards today, as we work to establish a renewable energy infrastructure for tomorrow, is absolutely critical. We are already seeing the severe impact an oil-based energy society is having on the world's climate and if we wait any longer then the impact could be extraordinarily devastating. By moving in a green, fossil fuel-free direction, we will strengthen our national security, help stop global warming and in turn improve the environment, while creating a massive new sector of our economy that will be focused on creating and implementing alternative energy solutions."

“Today we offered bipartisan legislation that lays out a comprehensive energy policy focused on conservation, reduced consumption and improved fuel efficiency,” Shays said. Shays, who was designated an “environmental hero” by the League of Conservation Voters, continued, “The bottom line is, with 3 percent of the world’s oil and 25 percent of its use, we can never drill our way to energy security. We will not have a world to live in if we continue our neglectful ways.”

The bipartisan legislation:
• Saves oil by increasing corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards for cars and light trucks, including vehicles that weigh up to and above 10,000 pounds, and closing the SUV tax loophole;
• Encourages the purchase and manufacturing of hybrid vehicles;
• Promotes the use of Public Transportation, and the building of energy efficient modes of transport like clean buses and light rails;
• Reduces heat and electric bills by increasing and extending energy efficiency tax incentives to both businesses and individuals;
• Increases funding for the research and development of biofuels, hydrogen, solar photovoltaic, and wind technologies;
• Saves taxpayer dollars by repealing tax breaks for oil companies; and
• Restores state authority with regards to LNG siting and setting CAFÉ standards.

Click here for a fact sheet on H.R. 1945.

The bill was endorsed by the Sierra Club, League of Conservation Voters, Natural Resources Defense Council, Union of Concerned Scientists, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), Connecticut Public Interest Research Group (ConnPIRG), Environmental Action, Connecticut Fund for the Environment, Republicans for Environmental Protection and the Audubon Society.

“The League of Conservation Voters commends Representatives Chris Shays and Maurice Hinchey for re-introducing the Energy for Our Future Act. As this legislation suggests, we have an opportunity to help secure our future by making real investments in clean, renewable energy technologies and promoting energy conservation. And we need to advance policies that protect consumers from skyrocketing energy prices and help curb global warming pollution,” said Gene Karpinski, President of LCV. “We strongly support this legislation as an important step toward a clean, sustainable energy future. This legislation will help reduce our dangerous dependence on oil, protect our environment and help create jobs through the development of renewable energy technologies. LCV encourages Congress to pass this important legislation.”

“The 'Energy for Our Future Act' is a forward thinking piece of legislation that will save consumers money and reduce our oil consumption. It creates real and significant change by increasing auto gas mileage standards to 40 miles per gallon, increasing renewable energy production and funding for weatherizing homes and restoring the state's authority in siting of LNG facilities,” said Anna Aurilio of U.S. Public Interest Research Group. “PIRG applauds Representative Shays for his long dedication to protecting our environment, helping consumers, and reducing America's dependence on oil.”

“Natural Resources Defense Council applauds the introduction of the Energy for Our Future Act (H.R.1945). This bill lays out a comprehensive vision for a more efficient, clean and secure energy future. It is critical that our country break its dangerous addiction to oil. The Energy for Our Future Act will put us on the path towards achieving this goal through policies such as raising fuel efficiency standards for cars, promoting public transit, and providing incentives for automakers to retool their plants to make more fuel efficient vehicles,” said Natural Resource Defense Council’s Legislative Director, Karen Wayland. “The bill will also increase the use of energy efficiency in buildings and the production of renewable energy. Deploying these clean energy resources will not only protect our environment, but also save consumers and businesses money. NRDC congratulates the sponsors of the bill for working in a bi-partisan manner. Such an approach is essential, and we look forward - along with other allies - to putting our shoulder to the wheel too.”

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