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Media: Press Release

Bush Energy Plan is Dirty, Dangerous and Doesn't Deliver for Consumers

May 17th, 2001

For Immediate Release
or More Information:
Pete Altman Texas SEED 512 479-7744
Bee Morrhead at Texas Impact 512 472-3903
Tom "Smitty" Smith, Public Citizen's Texas Office 512 917-7977

Texas Environmental, Faith Groups Call for a Cleaner, Smarter Energy Future

Rather than providing immediate and sustainable solutions to current energy problems, President Bush's energy will make the U.S. even more dependent on the old and dirty energy sources that created them, according to an analysis of the plan by US Public Interest Group (found at www.newenergyfuture.com).

Environmental groups in Texas were critical of the plan because it calls for building at least one new power plant every week over the next 20 years, increasing the amount of air pollution from power plants, and increasing taxpayer subsidies for coal and nuclear power, more drilling on public lands, and ignores the successful renewable and clean energy policies adopted in Texas.

"This proposal is dirty, dangerous and doesn't deliver for consumers," said Tom "Smitty" Smith, Director of Public Citizen's Texas office. "It's not a plan at all. Instead, it's a recipe for more drilling, spilling, polluting and meltdowns."

Public Citizen's Texas Office, the US Public Interest Research Group, along the SEED Coalition, and Texas IMPACT criticized the Bush administration for siding with the coal, oil and nuclear industries that are lobbying to keep America on the failed energy policies of the past.

"Bush's plan is an environment and climate killer", said Peter Altman, Director of the Sustainable Energy and Economic Development (SEED) Coalition. "Bush is ignoring science and common sense by skipping out on serious investment in conservation and renewable energy. One again he has sided with the carbon kings instead of those strategies that would cool Texas and benefit the Texas economy."

Flaws in the Bush Energy Proposal:
The groups cited several criticisms of the Bush proposal:

  • Build more than one power plant every week for the next 20 years, even though the government's own energy labs and scientists at the Department of Energy have reported that the U.S. could exceed projected demand for energy through, efficiency and increases in renewable energy, and new plants already set for construction. These efficiency and renewable measures could save consumers more than $100 billion.
  • Drill for oil on some of America's most pristine wilderness areas, including the Artic Wildlife Refuge, while greater energy savings could be achieved by increasing automobile miles per gallon standards using existing technology.
  • Increase power production from coal plants that cause global warming and other air pollution and promote nuclear power even though there is no safe way to deal with the resulting radioactive waste.

"This proposal simply doesn't offer an ounce of creativity or vision, and Texans are smart enough to see that," said Bee Moorhead, Executive Director of Texas Impact, a statewide coalition of faith groups. "God's call to environmental stewardship doesn't mean radical sacrifices of personal comfort. It means our overarching policies-like this new energy policy-have to be ingenious and far-thinking, meeting human needs without sacrificing the wellbeing of other parts of Creation.

"The Bush administration is proposing the same old energy scam rather than a cleaner and smarter energy plan," Luke Metzger, director of the United State Public Interest Research Group's (US PIRG) Texas office "This proposal offers no relief to consumers who are living with rising prices and rolling blackouts right now."

Sensible Solutions for an Clean and Affordable Energy Future

US PIRG's Texas office also released a policy report entitled A New Energy Future, outlining how efficiency proposals will provide cleaner, quicker and cheaper solutions to the current trend of rising prices and rolling blackouts. US PIRG and the other groups suggested the following polices instead of Bush's plan:

  • Updating CAFE standards to 40 miles per gallon (with technology that is already on the market) would save 15 times the oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Annually, consumers would save $60 billion at the gas pump and the country would save a billion barrels of oil, or 30% of US oil imports.
  • Wind energy has much untapped potential. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimated that Texas wind energy could provide 10% of the electricity used in the United States.
  • Energy efficiency could save U.S. consumers 180,000 MW of power at far less cost than building new power plants- or three times as much power as Texans use.
  • Nuclear power is not a viable answer- even in France where nuclear power produces 75% of that nation's energy- they aren't ordering any new plants. They still haven't sited a waste facility. Not one state has sited a low level waste facility- and if a proposal pending in the Texas House passes, we may well become the nations nuclear dumping ground.

The Coalition urged Congress to reject the Bush energy plan and instead focus its attention on policy measures that move the U.S. toward a smarter, cleaner energy future. "It's a choice between the dirty, unsustainable and unreliable sources of energy being promoted by powerful forces in Washington, or pursuing a smarter, cleaner energy future for America," concluded Metzger.

The policy paper and more information on the Campaign for a New Energy Future can be found at www.newenergyfuture.com.

FOR VISUAL BROADCAST MEDIA: B-ROLL ON THE BUSH ENERGY PLAN SATELLITE COORDINATES
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First Feed:
DATE: Thursday, May 17, 2001
TIME: 14:00-14:15 ET
SATELLITE: Telstar 5, Transponder 16
SATELLITE TYPE: C Band
ORBITAL POSITION: 97 Degrees West
DOWNLINK FREQUENCY: 4020
DOWNLINK POLARITY:Horizontal
AUDIO: 6.2/6.8

Second Feed:
DATE: Thursday, May 17, 2001
TIME: 16:00-16:15 ET
SATELLITE: Telstar 5, Transponder 16
SATELLITE TYPE: C Band
ORBITAL POSITION: 97 Degrees West
DOWNLINK FREQUENCY: 4020
DOWNLINK POLARITY:Horizontal
AUDIO: 6.2/6.8

 

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