Dean Blasts Energy Legislation
Burlington, VT, November 20, 2003
“The energy legislation currently before the Senate is a terrible bill. Since day one, corporate lobbyists and insiders like Ken Lay have had unfettered access, while scientists, conservationists, consumer groups, and Democrats have been shut out. The American people have been silenced while corporate donors have been showered with billions of dollars of tax-payer subsidies. This morning we discovered that a key industry lobbying group, Edison Electric Institute, flew key Congressional aides to Europe last summer to help persuade them to include the group's favorite provisions.
“Our energy policy directly affects our environment, our economy, our health, and our security. This bill does nothing to improve any of these and, in fact, will make matters worse. President Bush's allies rejected meaningful support for renewable energy, despite urging by a bipartisan group of 53 Senators. Apparently, if it's not a priority for Enron, Halliburton or Lyondell, it's not a priority for George Bush, Dick Cheney or Tom DeLay.
“There are certainly important provisions in this bill which I support, like those concerning ethanol, but I understand that there might be opportunities to do the right thing in the upcoming transportation bill. The current version is littered with handouts to special interests, and I am calling on the Senate, including my opponents for the Democratic nomination, to stand up for the American people by voting 'no' on this bill. Americans expect and deserve political leaders who champion the public good over private profit, and who are not afraid to take on powerful corporate interests.
“When I am president, I will work to create a new energy economy, based on domestic renewable sources and energy efficiency, that will create jobs, protect our environment and increase our security.”