MCCAIN, KYL SAY NO TO FLAWED ENERGY BILL
June 28, 2005
WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senators John McCain and Jon Kyl today voted against Senate passage of H.R. 6, the Energy Policy Act of 2005, warning that it is not the solution that some have suggested and will actually result in higher gas prices for Arizonans.
The bill contains numerous provisions that will distort competitive markets for energy through subsidies, tax breaks, special projects, mandates and outlandish amounts of federal spending, and it is unlikely to have any positive short-term effect on energy prices.
"This bill does little to address the immediate energy crisis we face in this country. The handouts to big business and oil companies are irresponsible and will be disastrous for people of Arizona. I cannot in good conscience, vote to pass legislation that does not adequately address issues related to energy efficiency, security, and energy independence," said McCain.
One example from the bill that is harmful to Arizona is the mandate that Americans use eight billion gallons of ethanol annually by 2012. Currently, Americans consume only 3.4 billion gallons. Such mandates will result in higher gasoline costs for states, like Arizona, that do not have an abundant in-state supply of renewable energy or who do not produce their own ethanol.
"I predict that if this bill is enacted, gas prices in Arizona will increase and air quality will be impaired because of its ethanol mandates," said Kyl. "The bill does little to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and will impose huge new costs on Arizona power consumers because of the bill's national one-size-fits-all renewable portfolio standard."
The bill also includes overly-generous tax incentives for individuals to buy alternative fuel vehicles. Both Senators noted Arizona's disastrous experience a few years ago with its alternative fuel vehicle tax incentives. Arizona's program could have cost state taxpayers half a billion dollars - 11 percent of the state's budget - if it had not been repealed. Originally projected costs of the Arizona program were between $3 million and $10 million - less than 10 percent of its true cost.