"All indications are that they don't intend to have a real debate about one of the most important issues we face. Anybody who's been around here for any period of time knows energy bills take at least a couple of weeks. So it doesn't appear that there's either time or willingness on the other side to debate this critical issue. We would have liked to have had a debate on ideas we've already offered. Our energy bill would give the President the ability to raise the liability caps on economic damages done by companies like BP -- without driving small independent oil producers out of business. It would lift the administration's job-killing moratorium on off-shore drilling as soon as new safety standards are met -- a moratorium that one senior Gulf State Democrat has said `Could cost more jobs than the oil spill itself.'
"I mean, how can you have a serious energy debate without addressing a problem that a leading Gulf State Democrat says is costing more jobs than the spill itself? Our bill has a true bipartisan commission -- with subpoena power -- to investigate the oil spill, rather than the President's anti-drilling commission. Importantly, it also takes good ideas from Democrats, including Senator Bingaman's idea for much needed reform at MMS. Surely we can all agree that this administration's oversight at MMS is in need of major reform. Our bill includes revenue sharing for coastal states that allow offshore drilling to help them prepare for and deal with disasters like the one we have right now in the Gulf.
"So we've got our own ideas. We've got some of their ideas. Our bill doesn't kill jobs. It doesn't put a moratorium on production. We're not interested in yet another debate about a Democrat bill in which the prerequisite is killing more jobs. Our bill would address this crisis at hand. Their bill would use the crisis to stifle business and kill jobs in a region that's in desperate need of jobs. It was my hope that we could have a real debate about energy. Clearly, the Majority isn't interested in that debate."
"You would have to be incredibly out of touch to think we should bail out BP for the disaster they caused in the Gulf, yet that is exactly what Senate Republicans are proposing. Besides the fact that the Republican plan does nothing to create jobs, their proposal would essentially trust BP to pay back the millions of Americans whose livelihoods they've ruined. This defies common sense. These hard-working people just had the rug pulled out from under them, and Democrats believe they should not be forced to fight BP's army of corporate lawyers for years to come just to get the compensation they deserve."
pollution and fewer jobs.
"At every opportunity, a minority of Senators who are in the pocket of America's largest polluters in the coal and oil industries chose obstruction over working together to solve America's energy and national security challenges. As a result of their actions, the big polluters will continue to reap record profits at the expense of Americans. As we look forward, one thing is clear: the Senate's job is not done. They must use every opportunity available to address clean energy and climate reform by working to limit carbon pollution and invest in new clean energy sources that are made in America, including protecting the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to crack down on polluters."
Some of the major groups endorsing the statement included: 1Sky, Center for American Progress Action Fund, Clean Water Action, Defenders of Wildlife, Earthjustice, Environment America, Environmental Defense Fund, League of Conservation Voters, National Audubon Society, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, The Wilderness Society, Union of Concerned Scientists, US Climate Action Network, and many, many more regional, state and local groups.
The American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard issued a statement saying the Democrat's bill would "cost American jobs, slow economic growth and will place our energy security at risk." He said, "While full details of the Senate bill are not yet available, the liability provision sticks out as a jobs killer. Requiring an unattainable level of insurance coverage for domestic energy producers on the Outer Continental Shelf will force the vast majority of American companies out of U.S. waters, according to insurers. This would cut domestic production, kill American jobs, slow economic growth and cost billions in federal oil and natural gas revenues.
"Even those that could self insure operations would see costs skyrocket, driving investments out of the United States, further hurting our economy, employment and energy security, according to a recent analysis by Wood Mackenzie. While we are glad that the bill recognizes the need to analyze the economic repercussions of the current deepwater moratorium, a better tack would have been to repeal it. Majority Leader Reid suggests his bill will create 150,000 new jobs, but our analysis indicates that failing to develop in the deepwater of the Gulf of Mexico will cost more than that -- 175,000 jobs, the majority of them in already hard-hit Gulf Coast communities. Clearly, that is not a win for Americans."