The energy policy will not work because it makes the wrong choices, according to Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club.
WASHINGTON, DC, US, 2001-05-18 <SolarAccess.com> “We can’t drill, dig and destroy our way to energy independence,” he explains. “Americans want a balanced approach that gives us quicker, cleaner, cheaper, safer solutions like energy-efficient technologies, renewable power like solar and wind, and responsible additions to supply.” “Bush is trying to hang a thin veil of energy efficiency over a cesspool of polluter giveaways,” he adds. The White House uses photographs of renewables facilities to distract from the harmful impacts of its policies, “but it would be far more honest to unveil this plan at a polluting coal-fired power plant or at the Three Mile Island nuclear reactor.” The plan will benefit Bush’s campaign donors in the oil, coal and utility mining industries, but cost anyone who buys energy or breathes the air, he explains. “Americans rely on the Clean Air Act to protect our families from unhealthy air pollution, but the President’s plan unravels these safeguards and gives giant handouts to filthy coal-fired power plants,” he adds. “Dressing these plants with sweet names like ‘clean coal’ does little to stop pollution from spewing out of the smokestacks. That coal pollution leads to global warming, causes air and water pollution and harms our families’ health.” Raising fuel economy for vehicles is the biggest single step Bush could have taken to cut oil dependence and curb global warming, but the President decided not to act, complains Pope. “Clearly, there are options that are quicker, cleaner, cheaper and safer than what the President’s proposing,” he adds. “But Bush’s operating plan seems to follow this motto: If it’s environmentally destructive, just do it. If it’s environmentally beneficial, just study it.” “The President’s own budget erodes the environmental veneer on this plan,” he explains. “Hindering efforts to improve energy efficiency in homes, vehicles, businesses and industry, President Bush’s budget actually cuts research in renewable energy and development programs by 37 percent and cuts energy efficient research and development by 30 percent.”