President Bush's Visit to the Department of Energy a Vain Attempt to Shore Up His Conservation Credentials

Statement from Wesley Warren, NRDC Senior Fellow for Environmental Economics

WASHINGTON (June 28, 2001) - President Bush's announcement today to provide $85.7 million in research grants, even if added to his FY 2002 request, doesn't add up. The total for efficiency research would still be lower than the amount approved so far by either the House or the Senate this year, and by the Congress last year.

President Bush is trying to sell an energy plan that has already been bought and paid for by lobbyists in the oil, coal and nuclear industries. While offering new subsidies to these polluters, the president's budget plan that he sent to Congress cuts federal research into energy efficiency by nearly 30 percent, or $180 million.

To convince the American people that he is on the right track, it will take President Bush more than photo opportunities with technologies developed through funding from the past administration, or oil-covered talking points with pictures of drilling rigs. It will take investments in research and development, tax incentives, and consumer protections beyond those contained in the Bush plan, with its large cuts to the federal budget for clean energy sources.

Efficient and renewable technologies are cheaper, faster, cleaner solutions to America's energy needs. But the president seems to prefer costly, obsolete, highly polluting alternatives.

The Natural Resources Defense Council is a national, non-profit organization of scientists, lawyers and environmental specialists dedicated to protecting public health and the environment. Founded in 1970, NRDC has more than 500,000 members nationwide, served from offices in New York, Washington, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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