Cantwell To Lead Energy Independence 2020 Campaign

Democrats to Continue Fight to Make America Energy Independent

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid announced that Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) will take the lead for Senate Democrats’ efforts to make America energy independent by 2020. Senator Cantwell will lead the Senate Democrats as they continue to work to break America’s dependence on foreign oil while protecting working families from skyrocketing energy prices and unfair market manipulation by energy companies. This announcement comes as Democrats across the country rallied this week to fight for energy independence by 2020. In their states and local communities, Democrats at all levels of government have been fighting to stop price gouging, provide relief for high winter heating costs and put America squarely on the path towards energy independence.

"I am thrilled that Senator Cantwell has agreed to lead the Democratic caucus in this crucial effort to make America energy independent by 2020," said Reid. "Her experience fighting for consumers during the Enron scandal and Western energy crisis make her the right choice to continue our effort to break our dependence on foreign oil and put working families ahead of the special interests."

Senator Cantwell serves on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as well as the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee making her ideally suited to tackle the crucial energy issues facing our nation. Senator Maria Cantwell put the heat on the Administration to make sure it didn't let Enron off the hook for manipulating the electricity market and bilking consumers out of millions of dollars. When the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission failed to act, Cantwell hand-delivered evidence of Enron's market manipulation schemes and still has not let her foot off the pedal when it comes to putting pressure on the Administration to provide some relief for consumers who are still being sued by Enron to pay for energy Enron never delivered. Cantwell has already successfully gotten Congress to ban some of the tactics Enron used to manipulate markets in their favor. Senator Cantwell also fought the Administration's efforts to nearly double power rates in the Northwest.

"I look forward to tackling the task of making our country energy independent by 2020," Cantwell said. "When the likes of Enron are allowed to gouge prices and manipulate markets, the only way to truly protect consumers from sky rocketing gas prices and jolting home heating bills is to diversify our energy sources."

Senator Cantwell understands that energy independence is crucial to securing America’s future by making us safer, economically stronger and giving needed relief to working families. Democrats know that America can do better than giveaways to big oil while working families face record high prices. Democrats will continue to put forward ideas to stop price gouging, invest in renewable energy, and put America firmly on the path towards energy independence. Senator Cantwell will help to guide Democrats through these issues and educate the American people about the important work being done by Democrats to make America more secure.


Week of October 10, 2005

In addition to events held by House Democrats and Democratic Governors, Senate Democrats held the following events this week:


• Senator Stabenow talks to reporters in Detroit about gas prices.

• Senator Salazar holds a conversation on energy independence in the San Luis Valley of Colorado.

• Senator Bingaman speaks with an editorial board in Carlsbad, New Mexico on energy.


• Senator Durbin stops by gas stations in Springfield and Quincy, IL. Interviews on WGEM and KHQA

• Senator Schumer stops by gas stations in Albany and Syracuse.

• Senator Bingaman speaks with an editorial board in Hobbs, New Mexico on energy.


• Senator Reid will hold a press event on top of a parking garage in Las Vegas.

• Senator Kennedy will participate in an event on fuel prices in Boston.

• Senator Johnson participates in a groundbreaking of a new ethanol plant.

• Senator Salazar holds a conversation on energy independence in Northeast Colorado.

• Senator Dorgan holds a press conference in Bismarck to call on ND to join a state renewable fuel standard to match federal effort.


• Senator Durbin stops by gas stations in Wheaton and St. Charles, IL.


• Senator Harkin participates in an event on LIHEAP.

• Senator Salazar holds a conversation on energy independence in Northeast Colorado.

• Senator Levin participates in energy events in Detroit and Flint, Michigan.


• Senator Cantwell hosts a LIHEAP event.