Organizational Sign-on Letter: Oppose Senate Bill 1460, The Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017
Dear Majority Leader McConnell and Minority Leader Schumer –
As the Senate considers moving forward with S. 1460, The Energy and Natural Resources Act of 2017, on behalf of our members and supporters the undersigned organizations urge you not to move forward with this bill that would increase our dependence on fossil fuels and instead focus on transitioning our country to a clean energy economy.

We opposed the Energy Modernization of Act of 2015, and we will oppose any legislation in this Congress that mirrors the faults of that legislation. Like the Energy Modernization Act of 2015, this bill would lock in our dependence on fossil fuels for decades to come, directly undermining our country’s efforts to stave off the worst effects of climate change. The science is clear: we can no longer pursue fossil fuel energy sources and must rapidly transition to a renewable energy system.

In light of the current administration’s overt efforts to make it easier for the fossil fuel industry to pollute our air and water, it is more essential than ever that Congress resist efforts to increase fossil fuel production. No energy legislation is better than bad energy legislation that serves to increase our dependence on dirty fossil fuel production instead of advancing energy efficiency to reduce the amount of energy we utilize and building on successful policies to expand clean energy sources such as solar and wind.

In letters to you from hundreds of organizations across the country last Congress, we highlighted some of our top-line concerns with the legislation’s approach, which we fear are being repeated in the current legislation:

• Expediting approval of LNG export terminals
• Expediting the review of new mining permits, and oil and gas permitting and drilling
• Making the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) the lead agency in federal authorizations for natural gas projects making all agencies conducting those authorizations give “deference” to FERC
• Expanding research and development for extracting methane hydrates

Expediting the build-out of fossil fuel infrastructure takes us in exactly the wrong direction at a time when we must urgently transition to the low-carbon economy. Building LNG export terminals leads to expanded hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) for natural gas across this country, which requires the development of new pipelines, new compressor stations, storage facilities and new export terminals. In addition, increased production of domestic natural gas will feed the construction of new natural gas-fired power plants. Encouraging investment in fossil fuel infrastructure makes it more difficult to transition away from the dirty fossil fuels that are causing the climate catastrophe, rather than moving us towards a more sustainable energy future.

We find it astounding that any energy bill could contain a “Renewables” subtitle but does not include provisions on solar and wind energy.

Instead of pursuing more dirty energy Congress should pass legislation that promotes clean energy such as solar and wind. We must speed the transition to truly clean energy. Again, we urge you not to support S 1460 or any legislation that fails to guide our nation into a clean energy future.


Food & Water Watch
Friends of the Earth
Center for Biological Diversity
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