Endangered Species Coalition Blasts House-Passed Energy Bill

Norwalk, Connecticut, UNITED STATES

WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2001 (PRIMEZONE) -- Endangered Species Coalition Executive Director, Brock Evans, called the omnibus energy bill passed by the House of Representatives today "a blue print for extinction, designed to make fast bucks for corporations, with disastrous long-term costs for environment, wildlife and endangered species -- and the vast majority of the American people who care about them."

Evans said the two most destructive sections of the bill involve oil and gas drilling. The first "would hand the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge over to big oil," he said. The second would allow oil and gas drilling on federal Bureau of Land Management and Forest Service lands, with no environmental protection constraints stronger than that provided by applicable state laws.

"For most Western states, where the bulk of oil and gas development would occur," Evans warned, "this provision amounts to a virtual waiver of environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act."

Evans said the Coalition will not "quietly accept" today's action by the House. "Senators from every state will be hearing about the dangers of this bill -- from the 440 scientific, environmental, and religious organizations who are the Endangered Species Coalition. We will not stand idly by while the oil and gas industries plunder and destroy America's greatest natural treasures."

CONTACT: Endangered Species Coalition, Washington
         Brock Evans, Executive Director
         (202) 772-3232