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Broad-based coalition calls for congressional action on comprehensive energy plan


WASHINGTON, May 22, 2002 — A broad coalition of energy consumers and producers, labor organizations, and business trade groups recently called on Congress to move quickly to finalize comprehensive energy legislation that encourages conservation, increases domestic energy supplies, and modernizes the infrastructure.

“For the past quarter century, America’s energy use has grown twice as fast as domestic energy production. Our nation is more dependent on foreign energy than ever before in our history. We must take steps immediately to reverse these troubling trends to provide energy security to our nation,” said Bruce Josten, executive vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of the more than 1,300 members of the Alliance for Energy & Economic Growth.

Comprehensive energy legislation passed the U.S. House of Representatives last year, and a different measure recently passed the U.S. Senate after a lengthy debate. A House-Senate conference committee will now attempt to resolve differences in the two bills.

“We look forward to the conference beginning deliberations on this important national priority,” Josten said. “We must get on with the urgent business of boosting our domestic energy supply, and enhancing and expanding the infrastructure to get that energy where it is needed, when it is needed.”

Josten said the Alliance will mount an aggressive grassroots and media campaign to push for balanced and meaningful provisions to increase domestic energy supplies and modernize the energy delivery infrastructure. “Conservation is an important part of the solution,” Josten said, “but it is equally important to recognize that it is obviously not the entire solution.”

The Alliance cited the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration’s forecast that — even though, over the next two decades, more than half of the nation’s incremental energy requirements will be met through energy efficiency gains — Americans will still require 32 percent more energy by 2020 than they used in 1999.

“A bill that does not adequately address energy supply and infrastructure issues is not a ‘comprehensive’ energy bill and will fail to provide the energy security this nation must have in the future,” Josten said. “Addressing these issues may involve some difficult political decisions, but that is what must be done.”

For more information, visit the Alliance’s web site at http://www.yourenergyfuture.org .