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