Mr. President, As the Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, I want to express my serious concern with several pieces of so-called energy legislation that the House of Representatives is considering this week. This package of bills includes a comprehensive energy bill that differs both from the failed conference report on H.R. 6 and from the Senate energy bill that was introduced on February 12, 2004 and placed directly on the calendar. These bills are not the product of hearings or of bipartisan consensus between the House and the Senate. The comprehensive energy bill the House is considering is nearly identical to the energy bill conference report we have already defeated, Mr. President. The other bills are equally troubling. They trample states rights and they enact significant new taxpayer subsidies. Most importantly, they are not the right energy policy for America. I have for many months now said that we should try to reach consensus on targeted pieces of energy legislation. We could pass legislation on issues such as the increased production of renewable motor fuels. We could enact fiscally responsible extensions of needed energy tax provisions, such as the wind energy tax credit. National electricity reliability standards are another area in which Senator Cantwell, Senator Feingold and I believe there could be agreement and we could pass a bill. I also believe there are a number of energy efficiency measures that could garner broad support. But Mr. President, there should be no agreement on the poor environmental policy that is contained in these bills. The Senate should reject them if they are passed and sent over for consideration. The omnibus bill the House passed yesterday, H.R. 4503, is identical to the failed conference report on H.R. 6, except for the inclusion of two coal-related provisions that are in the pending Senate bill, S. 2095. As with the energy bill conference report, nearly a hundred sections of the bill in the jurisdiction of the Environment and Public Works Committee. We were not consulted on any of these sections, the House has made no effort to fix these provisions, and I have repeatedly raised concerns about them on the Senate floor. The waiver of liability for MTBE producers is included in the House's bill. The Senate has repeatedly rejected this provision. The House bill unravels the ozone designation process in the Clean Air Act by delaying compliance with the national health-based air quality ozone standards until the air in the dirtiest city is cleaned up. The House insists on this leftover from the failed energy bill conference report, though changing cities' ozone compliance deadlines under the Clean Air Act doesn't increase our nation's energy supplies. This bill also provides unprecedented relief for a single region of the country from application of the entire Clean Air Act, without a hearing. The House continues to insist that oil and gas exploration and production activities be exempted from the Clean Water Act stormwater program. The Clean Water Act requires permits for stormwater discharges associated with construction activity. The amendment changes the Act to provide a special exemption for oil and gas construction activities from stormwater pollution control requirements. The scope of the provision is extremely broad. Stormwater runoff typically contains pollutants such as oil and grease, chemicals, nutrients, metals, bacteria, and particulates. I have told colleagues this before, but EPA estimates that this change would exempt at least 30,000 small oil and gas sites from clean water requirements. In addition, every construction site in the oil and gas industry larger than 5 acres would be exempt as well. The large sites have held permits for ten years or more. That is a terrible rollback of current law. I want Senators to imagine trying to explain to constituents why an oil drilling site that had to comply with the Clean Water Act for ten years suddenly no longer needs to do so. The House is scheduled to act today act on another bill, H.R. 4517, called the United States Refinery Revitalization Act of 2004. It gives the Department of Energy a lead role in environmental permitting decisions for refineries in a newly designated "refinery revitalization" zone. The Energy Department would get the ability to issue permits and make "federal authorization decisions" under our major environmental laws including: the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, and our national solid and hazardous waste laws, among others. Mr. President, the Energy Department would get to make environmental regulatory decisions and set compliance deadlines. This is a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house. Moreover, if a permit is denied , there would only be an appeal to the DOE Secretary and then judicial review in the D.C. Circuit Court. The EPA, which normally make these decisions, has no role at all. In an effort to assure members, there is a savings clause in the bill that is supposed to protect environmental laws. The bill includes language that contradicts the savings clause provisions. It states that if the best available pollution control technology is used at a facility then that facility is in compliance with all environmental permitting requirements. In addition, the role of states is not clear, particularly those with more stringent standards. While this bill proposes to increase our domestic refining capacity, Mr. President, it will not do so. In fact, it is drafted in a way that will likely reduce our supplies of gasoline and heating oil. The bill is supposed to restart idled refineries. It defines "idle refineries" as those that have shut down after June 1, 2004. Let me say that again for my colleagues, idle refineries are refineries that shut down after June 1, 2004. These are not refineries that have been mothballed and shut down for many years. These so-called "idle" refineries could be operating now and then shut down after enactment of the bill in order to game the system. The refineries would seek regulatory relief under a newer, inexperienced regulatory agency, and drive prices even higher by further constraining production. This is a tragic outcome, Mr. President, and certainly not one that expands our nation's refining capacity. The House passed another bill yesterday, H.R. 4513, that exempts federal agencies planning renewable energy projects from the National Environmental Policy Act. Federal agencies would no longer have to identify alternative project locations when they site a renewable energy project. They also would no longer have to examine alternatives to the project other than the actions they propose to take, or the option of doing nothing at all. Like the refinery bill, this bill has bad consequences. While the bill seeks to speed up renewable energy projects, it is really a way to trample over federal environmental laws or state and local requirements. For example, a city's objections to a windmill or solar panels proposed for the top of a downtown federal building may not have to be resolved or alternatives considered, even if there are local scenic concerns or conflicts with zoning ordinances. In a regular NEPA process, discussion could resolve those concerns and produce a project that meets both federal and local needs. We should be reaching agreement over the development of renewable energy, not creating conflicts. Also today, the House will take up H.R. 4545, Gasoline Price Reduction Act of 2004, a bill that proposes to increase gasoline supplies by capping the number of so-called boutique fuel blends. This bill is not likely to have a beneficial effect in terms of reducing gasoline prices or increasing supplies, and appears designed to significantly worsen air quality. It allows EPA open-ended authority to waive cleaner-burning gasoline or diesel requirements indefinitely based on an undefined "significant fuel supply disruption." In addition, EPA's determination appears not to be judicially reviewable, since the EPA Administrator need only deem a waiver "necessary." Further there is no obligation to mitigate or make up for the excess air pollution that may occur over the waiver period. This bill also would bar any increase in the number of existing fuels and fuel additives. This would apply to any state-adopted ultra-low sulfur diesel, biodiesel or cleaner-burning gasoline programs, even though these programs do not affect gasoline prices or supply, and regardless of the fact that they may be needed to meet new, health-based air quality standards for ozone or fine particulate pollution. Mr. President, there are too many serious problems with these bills. The American people do not want us to act in the at the expense of the environmental quality. We should be passing the pieces of the energy bill where we can reach agreement to do so, like those issues I outlined. We should not be rushing to pass legislation with such serious consequences. These are aggressive, overreaching bills, and are deeply flawed. I will oppose them, and other Senators should as well.