Center for American Progress Action

RELEASE: Critical Energy Issues Part of Transportation Bill Debate
Press Release

RELEASE: Critical Energy Issues Part of Transportation Bill Debate

Press Contacts

  • Christina DiPasquale

Read “Analysis: Cutting Red Tape In Transportation Bill Means Cutting You Out Of The Environmental Review Process

Read " Cognitive Dissonance: White House Greenlights Arctic Drilling As Congress Sends Billions To Restore Gulf Coast

Washington, D.C — As Congress is expected to pass the Surface Transportation Extension Act today, the Center for American Progress Action Fund released “Cutting Red Tape In Transportation Bill Means Cutting You Out Of The Environmental Review Process” and “Cognitive Dissonance: White House Greenlights Arctic Drilling As Congress Sends Billions To Restore Gulf Coast.” CAP Action’s Christy Goldfuss, Michael Conathan, and Daniel J. Weiss, released the following statements on the energy issues at stake:

Of the “Accelerated Decision Making” section, Christy Goldfuss, CAP Action Director of Public Lands, comments:

Environmentalists, right-to-know advocates, and community organizers need to take a close look at the section that discusses “Accelerated Decision Making.” For the first time, but likely not the last, conservative politicians in the House won a major victory in this small section of the bill by including their “streamlining” language, which simply means curtailing the public’s ability to comment on the impacts of transportation projects for communities—including on water, air, and public safety.

Daniel J. Weiss, CAP Action Senior Fellow and Director of Climate Strategy, said:

Fortunately, the transportation bill does not include Big Oil’s provision to force approval of the Keystone XL pipeline before Nebraska and the federal government has assessed its impact on air and water pollution, farming, and public health. The Keystone provision was a blank check to a foreign oil company to build a pipeline regardless of its harms. The transportation bill will create millions of jobs, while the pipeline will yield only 6,000, according to the State Department. And repairing existing roads and investing in public transportation should save far more oil than provided by the pipeline.

CAP Action Director of Ocean Policy Michael Conathan, remarks on the irony of the expected passage of the transportation bill’s provision to send money to the Gulf Coast to help communities and ecosystems recover from the BP spill, while the White House prepares to greenlight Arctic drilling:

While Congress should be congratulated for returning 80 percent of BP’s civil penalties to the Gulf Coast, the irony of passage of the RESTORE Act occurring as we’re about to issue permits to drill in the Arctic, proves we are still more inclined to mitigate future disasters than to set up the rigorous safeguards that can help prevent them. Issuing these permits without adequate response infrastructure or scientific data is like stepping into the street without bothering to check for traffic. It’s the height of irresponsibility to drill with neither a clear understanding of the potential damages nor a proven means of cleaning up any mess that may result.

Read “Analysis: Cutting Red Tape In Transportation Bill Means Cutting You Out Of The Environmental Review Process

Read “Cognitive Dissonance: White House Greenlights Arctic Drilling As Congress Sends Billions To Restore Gulf Coast

To speak with CAP Action experts on this topic, please contact Christina DiPasquale at 202.481.8181 or cdipasquale@americanprogressaction.org.

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