Interview availability: Former U.S. Sen. Energy Chair J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA)

Published July 27, 2005

As Congress wraps up a broad energy bill this week, apparently meeting the President’s call for a bill before the August recess, what will the country’s new policies mean for energy consumers and the nation’s energy independence?

Former Senator J. Bennett Johnston offers perspectives on the extensive compromises and the linchpin issue of liability protection for the producers of gasoline additive MTBE that almost sank the legislation this week, as it did in 2003. Senators Reid (D-NV), Schumer (D-NY), and Gregg (R-NH) were among key players setting up this controversy, and former Senator Johnston offers a unique perspective from his experience as former Senate Energy Chair–and a critical view different from his former Senate colleagues.

Former Sen. J. Bennett Johnston (D-LA) chaired the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources from 1986 to 1994 and was ranking minority member of the committee from 1994-1996. He presided over many key legislative efforts, including the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments that mandated the use of the now-controversial chemical MTBE. Sen. Johnston is a senior policy advisor to The Heartland Institute.

To schedule an interview with Senator Johnston, please contact Ralph Conner, public affairs director, The Heartland Institute, at 312-377-4000, email [email protected].

Founded in 1984, The Heartland Institute’s goal is to help build social movements in support of ideas that empower people. Among other publications, Heartland publishes Environment & Climate News, a monthly newspaper addressing environment policy issues. Heartland is supported by approximately 1,500 donors and members.