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Press Release

    Letter to Congress Regarding the "Securing America’s Future Energy Act of 2001"

    07/31/2001

    Dear Member of Congress:

    H.R. 4, the "Securing America’s Future Energy Act of 2001," will be coming to the House floor this week. On behalf of the nearly 300,000 members of Citizens for a Sound Economy’s (CSE) grassroots army, I urge you to support this legislation in its present form. This legislation is important if the United States is to have an energy policy that will produce affordable and reliable energy now and in the future, with minimum dependence on foreign oil cartels.

    There are several components of the bill that are necessary to ensure the integrity and effectiveness of this legislation. As part of our ongoing efforts to secure affordable and reliable energy now and in the future for working families across the nation, we have decided to KEY VOTE the following amendments. These key votes will be used to determine your eligibility for the CSE Jefferson Award, which is provided to those legislators who ardently support the CSE principles of limited government, lower taxes, and more freedom.

    Oppose any Increase in the Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE). Given the advances made in recent years in auto-engine fuel efficiency and air quality, CSE believes the amendment to raise CAFE standards is unnecessary. Further, dramatic sacrifices in passenger safety would have to be made to meet the proposed standards. In the past, the most direct method of complying with the federal standards has been a reduction in vehicle weight. As a result, CAFE standards are blamed for more than 46,000 traffic fatalities since their enactment in 1975. CSE will, therefore, oppose any amendment to increase the CAFE standards.

    Allow the Production of Energy Resources in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). America is facing an energy crisis due in large measure to a lack of domestic energy resources and an ever-increasing level of dependence on foreign cartels for petroleum. Our energy infrastructure is stretched to the limit, and H.R. 4 would do much to address the problem. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR), which could hold as much as 16 billion barrels of crude oil, enough to replace imports from Saudi Arabia for the next 30 years, is key to our future energy security. While the total size of ANWR is roughly the same as South Carolina, the amount of land that would be disturbed is about the same as Dulles airport. CSE will oppose any attempts to remove the provision allowing the environmentally sensitive exploration and production of energy resources in ANWR.

    Allow Flexibility with Boutique Fuels. The cause of the fuel price shocks Americans have experienced in recent years is due to a large extent to the myriad fuel blends required by government mandates. Not only do these requirements restrict supplies of conventional fuels (i.e., what the vast majority of Americans consume), there is no solid evidence to date that they contribute measurably to improving air quality. CSE will oppose any attempts to remove the provision allowing states to opt out of federal reformulated fuel mandates during times of shortage and price increases.

    Additionally, CSE would reserve an opportunity to key vote any amendment that seeks to legislate a "solution" to the complex and unproven issue of global warming. Despite claims of a "consensus" in the scientific community about the reality of global warming, there exists no empirical evidence linking the use of fossil fuels with any alleged climate change. The regulation of CO2 emissions would only serve to further undermine our energy security without providing any environmental benefits. Therefore, CSE will count any vote encouraging the regulation of CO2, or restricting to the use of fossil fuels to combat alleged global warming as a KEY VOTE.

    Please remember that these key votes will be used to determine your eligibility for the CSE Jefferson Award, which is provided to those legislators who ardently support the CSE principles of limited government, lower taxes, and more freedom. The awards will be presented at the conclusion of the 107th Congress and we will make every effort to alert the members of our grassroots army in your district as to how you voted on this issue and whether or not you have earned a Jefferson Award.

    Thank you for your consideration and I look forward to working with you as we continue to find ways for working Americans to have reliable energy now and in the future.

    Sincerely,

    Paul Beckner
    President