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Letter to Conferees Regarding the Comprehensive Energy Bill
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Press Release

Letter to Conferees Regarding the Comprehensive Energy Bill

Dear Member of Congress:

10/07/2002
Senate Dems, Conservative Groups Clash Over Energy
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Senate Dems, Conservative Groups Clash Over Energy

Senate Democrats and national conservative groups are tugging energy conferees in opposite directions on several so-called green provisions included in the Senate version of energy legislation now before a House-Senate conference. In a letter sent to conference committee members Friday, six conservative groups told lawmakers that the Senate's language on global climate change and a renewable portfolio standard should be "deal breakers." Specifically, the groups targeted provisions to create a national greenhouse gas database, require power plants to generate a portion of their electricity from renewable sources, require the Commerce Department to produce climate change vulnerability assessments and ask the White House to develop a strategy for stabilizing greenhouse gases. Together, the sections would "make U.S. energy supplies less abundant, less affordable and less reliable," according to the groups, which included Citizens for a Sound Economy, National Taxpayers Union, Small Business Survival Committee, Americans for Tax Reform, Consumer Alert and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. The bill should not become a "vehicle for anti-energy policies that penalize consumers, seniors, taxpayers and the economy," they wrote. Also last week, Senate Democrats released a fact sheet that defended those and other environmentally friendly provisions included in their bill. Overall, the bill would "address the long-term need to increase domestic energy supplies while promoting greater energy efficiency through the use of new clean technologies," according to a fact sheet compiled by the Democratic Policy Committee. Specifically, Democrats said their bill combines climate change mitigation with "common sense" strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reliance on traditional fossil fuels, such as a requirement that utilities generate 10 percent of their power from renewable sources. House and Senate energy conferees will resume discussions of the bill soon after returning to Capitol Hill from the August recess. Conferees will tackle the toughest energy issues beginning in the third week of September. House Energy and Commerce Chairman Tauzin, the chairman of the negotiations, hopes to wrap up work by October. - by Brody Mullins

08/22/2002
Political Inexperience, Not Greed Caused Energy Traders’ Demise
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Press Release

Political Inexperience, Not Greed Caused Energy Traders’ Demise

By the time voters go to the polls in November, two to three energy companies could join Enron in bankruptcy. With the public furor over declining stocks and corporate greed already at a high pitch, these new failures could bring about a new round of re-regulation to the energy sector.

08/07/2002
Letter to Congress Regarding the "Energy Policy Act of 2002"
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Press Release

Letter to Congress Regarding the "Energy Policy Act of 2002"

Dear Member of Congress: S. 517, the “Energy Policy Act of 2002,” will be coming to the Senate 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 oppose this legislation in its present form. This legislation does little to remove the barriers to domestic energy production that currently destabilize energy markets and contains new regulatory provisions that would raise prices, reduce energy availability, and increase costs and limit choices for energy consumers.

02/27/2002
Energy Battle Brewing
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Press Release

Energy Battle Brewing

The Senate tackles a number of important issues this week, and the debate over energy policy may be one of the most important. While the economics of energy may lack the scandal-tinged allure of campaign finance reform, the decisions Congress makes about energy this week will have a much greater impact on the average American than Washington’s self-touted efforts to clean up politics. Political reform is a perennial issue and it is questionable to expect politicians to pass laws that would make their lives more difficult. As Ronald Reagan noted, “Politics is supposed to be the second oldest profession. I have come to understand that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.” Energy, on the other hand, is vital to virtually every good and service we purchase; what happens in the Senate this week could mean big changes that affect all Americans.

02/26/2002
Newsweek: Lobbyist Gillespie's Corporate Clients, Including Enron, Funded 'Independent' Energy Advocacy Project
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Newsweek: Lobbyist Gillespie's Corporate Clients, Including Enron, Funded 'Independent' Energy Advocacy Project

An independent advocacy group, started last spring by Washington lobbyist Ed Gillespie to promote the president's energy plan, was funded entirely by Gillespie's corporate lobbying clients, who quietly gave cash to the 21st Century Energy Project to support causes that would benefit both the companies and the president, Newsweek has learned. And one of the firms that chipped in was Enron, which stood to gain off Bush's pro-energy agenda, Investigative Correspondent Michael Isikoff reports in the February 25 issue of Newsweek (on newsstands Monday, February 18).  (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20020217/HSSU003 )  Sources tell Newsweek the now-bankrupt Enron gave more than $50,000 to the Project, secretly routing the money through one of its members, Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative interest group run by activist Grover Norquist. Asked about Enron, Norquist replied: "We don't disclose our donors." Another contributor was Daimler-Chrysler, which hired Gillespie, a $700,000 a year consultant to Enron who is also well-known for his tight relationships with the Bush White House, to lobby against stricter fuel economy standards.  The automaker gave $50,000 to Gillespie's project, steering the money through Citizens For a Sound Economy, a conservative think tank.  When Gillespie started calling the leaders of conservative interest groups last spring, asking them to join the group, they figured Gillespie was discreetly doing the White House's bidding, reports Isikoff.  "Administration officials generally don't ask for support directly," says American Conservative Union President David Keene. "It's more a wink and a nod."  At the time, the Project didn't get much notice.  But now, with lawyers and lobbyists in the capital scrambling to find ways around tough new restrictions on corporate campaign contributions, Gillespie's innovative Project may become a widely copied example of a way to keep the dollars flowing.  In a May press conference launching the group, Gillespie said the money came from contributions from the Project's 10 members, which included Keene's ACU and the United Seniors Association.  When Newsweek called the Fund's members and asked how much money they'd put up, eight of the 10 said they'd given no money at all: Gillespie had asked only for their support, not their cash.  The White House says it had been "notified" about Gillespie's ad campaign.  But spokesman Dan Bartlett said, "they never gave us any details on what the financing was." Gillespie says there was nothing improper about his efforts: "This was straight-forward issue advocacy."

02/17/2002
Focus Shifts to Global Crossing
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Focus Shifts to Global Crossing

BY JUBE SHIVER Jr. and KAREN KAPLAN

Interest is building on Capitol Hill for an investigation of the business and accounting practices that steered telecommunications pioneer Global Crossing Ltd. into Bankruptcy Court, stranding workers and investors with worthless stock while company executives reaped huge financial rewards. "It appears to be inevitable we will take a look at them," Ken Johnson, a spokesman for the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. W. J. "Billy" Tauzin (R-La.), said Wednesday.

02/14/2002
Values Matter in Energy Debate
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Press Release

Values Matter in Energy Debate

The word is the Senate will vote on energy legislation before the President’s Day recess. It’s about time. The House passed energy legislation last August, and as with so many other pieces of legislation favored by the Administration, Senate Majority Leader Daschle has used obstructionist tactics to delay a vote as long as possible. Now he hopes to use floor debate to shape an “energy” bill acceptable to the radical environmental movement. They want energy legislation, to include:

02/05/2002
SUPPORT THE BUSH COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY PLAN
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Press Release

SUPPORT THE BUSH COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY PLAN

Soundbite: Our national security depends on reliable sources of energy. The House has acted responsibly to help protect our national security and reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil. Now Senator Daschle and the Senate must follow suit and pass a comprehensive energy plan that allows environmentally sensitive exploration in ANWR.

02/01/2002
Enron Needed a Level Playing Field
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Enron Needed a Level Playing Field

BY JASON M. THOMAS

While it is no perversion of language to describe Enron's collapse as a scandal, it is difficult, if not impossible, to identify any political dimension to the scandal or any course of action elected officials can take to ameliorate the situation. With a criminal investigation and numerous class-action civil suits underway, congressional investigations will do little more than earn headlines and provide a platform for political mudslinging and irresponsible charges.

01/20/2002

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