A message from Senator Charles E. Schumer
NEW YORK, (RUSHPRNEWS) 09/12/2008–Thank you for contacting me to express your opposition to increased domestic drilling. I share your concern for the impact that oil-drilling and burning fossil fuels have on the environment. You will be happy to know that I voted against the most recent bill in the Senate which would increase domestic drilling, Senator Mitch McConnell’s American Energy Production Act, which was defeated.
Although I believe we do need to increase our supply of oil in the short term, I do not want to see it happen at the expense of human health or the environment. I am sponsoring a bill, S. 2316, which will permanently ban drilling in the most delicate parts of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). I also voted against the American Energy Production Act of 2008, which proposed expanding the American territory which is available for oil leasing.
The long-term solution to the energy crisis is to become independent of oil – regardless of whether that oil is foreign or domestic. I am pushing an energy policy that uses energy efficiency and ultimately alternative energies to fuel a cleaner, more robust economy and a healthier environment.
As a member of the Finance Committee, I have helped to draft and push a comprehensive energy tax package to encourage developing alternative energy technologies and energy efficient improvements to homes and commercial buildings. I support long term extension of these credits because it creates predictability for companies looking to attract investors and undertake large scale development projects. Last June I voted in favor of extending the energy tax credits but the legislation fell one vote short of the 60 votes it needed to be considered on the Senate floor. Most recently, I was an original co-sponsor of a comprehensive energy tax amendment to the Housing Foreclosure Relief Act that would renew existing credits for renewable energy and energy efficiency that passed the Senate. I am also an original cosponsor of the Clean Energy Tax Stimulus Act of 2008, introduced by Senator Cantwell, to renew existing energy credits set to expire at the end of 2008.
I am also championing energy-efficiency as a way to reduce our dependence on oil. I have introduced two bills that seek to improve energy efficiency in practical, cost-efficient ways. The first bill, S. 2078, would require states to make their building codes 30% more energy efficient. The Alliance to Save Energy estimates that if our nation were to meet this target by 2030 the nation could save 5% of its total energy use, save consumers $50 billion a year, and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by an amount equivalent to that of taking 70 million cars off the road. The second bill, S. 2079 would require power utilities to gradually reduce their fuel consumption by improving their efficiency to reach a final target of 10% less fuel use by 2020.
I believe the answer to our energy crisis is innovation and efficiency, not expanding our reliance on oil, and I will continue to fight in the Senate for a new energy policy that focuses on innovation, efficiency, job-creation, and environmental benefit.
Again, thank you for contacting me on this important issue. Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can ever be of assistance to you on this, or any other matter.
Charles E. Schumer
United States Senator
Editor’s note: This message arrived this morning.