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Environmentalists Protest Big Oil Near Capitol

Greenpeace Installs Three Mock Oil Rigs in Reflecting Pool
Greenpeace
February 27th, 2002

WASHINGTON (February 27, 2002) -- Greenpeace activists waded into the middle of the national energy policy debate with a peaceful protest in front of the Capitol today.

The group erected three mock Exxon oil rigs in the Capitol Reflecting Pool with banners reading, "Don't RIG Our Energy Future" and "Stop Global Warming: Clean Energy Now!" The activity marks the international environmental group's first non-violent direct action in Washington, DC since the tragic events of September 11, 2001. No arrests were made. The Senate is scheduled to begin debate on national energy policy today.

"The Senate must reject the White House energy agenda and craft a bill that prioritizes clean, renewable energy solutions that solve global warming, and promote energy security and clean jobs," said Kert Davies, Greenpeace Climate Campaign Coordinator. "The White House is using divisive rhetoric on energy security to hide what's really on its wish list -- big payoffs for polluting energy corporations like Exxon Mobil."

The historic and contentious debate now centers on Sen. Daschle's energy bill. Over one hundred amendments are expected representing competing special interests. The White House energy plan, as spelled-out in the Republican backed House energy bill (HR 4) that passed in August, tallied at least $30 billion in taxpayer handouts to oil, gas, coal and nuclear power companies. HR 4 would put relatively little funding towards clean energy technologies like wind and solar power and energy efficiency. While the Daschle Bill as presently drafted, also contains billions of dollars in payouts and legislative breaks for oil, coal, nuclear power industries and electric utilities, it also does much more than either the House bill or Bush plan to promote clean energy technologies.

"Responsible leaders would give the American people a chance to choose clean energy as means to achieve energy security," noted Davies. "Any plan that doesn't spark massive clean energy development is just a recipe for an unstable, insecure energy future and worse global warming."

Contact:
Gary Skulnik, Media Officer 202-319-2492 or 202-413-8534 (mobile); or Kert Davies, Climate Campaign Coordinator 202-319-2455.