Sen. James Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, offered a Sense of the Senate resolution on Energy Justice during today’s Full Committee Business Meeting. The resolution, which was voted down by Democrats, urged that any “environmental justice policies” should only be considered in “the context of energy justice policies.”
Senator Inhofe’s Sense of the Senate revealed that “high energy prices are most burdensome on the poor and disadvantaged, and that opening access to increased energy supply and helping them to use less energy will lower energy prices for the poor and disadvantaged.”Full Text of Senator Inhofe’s Sense of the Senate Resolution on “Energy Justice”:
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES—110th Congress, 2nd Session.
To expresses the Sense of the Senate that development and implementation of environmental justice policies must be considered within the context of energy justice policies, that high energy prices are most burdensome on the poor and disadvantaged, and that opening access to increased energy supply and helping them to use less energy will lower energy prices for the poor and disadvantaged.
Whereas environmental justice can be defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income within the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental policies and laws; and
Whereas energy justice can be defined as the fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income within the development, implementation, and enforcement of national energy policies and laws with the goal to promote affordable and abundant energy; and
Whereas environmental justice and energy justice are not mutually exclusive; and
Whereas the nation is currently in the grips of an energy crisis; and Whereas according to a recent survey by the National Energy Assistance Directors Association, 70 percent of households reduced food purchases, 30 percent reduced purchases of medicine, and 20 percent changed plans for either their own or their children’s education in order to cope with higher home energy and gasoline costs; and
Whereas America has ample supplies of oil, natural gas, coal, oil shale, uranium, and wind potential to meet our energy supply needs for the next century and beyond; and
Whereas drilling is currently prohibited by Congress on 85 percent of the nation’s outer continental shelf, which holds an estimated 14 billion barrels of recoverable oil or the equivalent of 25 years of imports from Saudi Arabia; and
Whereas commercial scale oil shale production is currently prohibited by Congress in the Green River Formation in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming with nearly two trillion potentially-recoverable barrels of oil which at current rates of consumption could yield enough energy to fully meet America’s oil needs for nearly 240 years; and
Whereas energy is the nation’s lifeblood, the mostly unseen but present force that powers our economic engine, creates opportunities, and improves living standards:
Now, therefore, be it Resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that –
(1) implementation of environmental justice policies must always be considered in context with energy justice; and
(2) affordable energy is the creator of economic opportunities; and
(3) lifting Congressional prohibitions and increasing access to America’s abundant energy supply will lower the price of energy for the nation’s poor and disadvantaged.