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E-M:/ Sierra Club - Bush-Cheney Energy Plan Bad for Great Lakes

Enviro-Mich message from daniel.farough@sfsierra.sierraclub.org

September 28, 2000                       Dan Farough or
Alison Horton, 517-484-2372

Sierra Club Urges Bush to Oppose Great Lakes Oil Drilling

Saginaw - Today leaders of the Michigan Chapter of Sierra Club criticized Texas 
Gov. George W. Bush and former Secretary of Defense Richard Cheney for their 
support for energy and other policies that could harm the Great Lakes and the 
health of Michigan residents.  Both Bush and Cheney have extensive records of 
opposition to clean water programs and other environmental safeguards vital to 
Michigan.  The Sierra Club urged Bush and Cheney to oppose oil drilling in the 
Great Lakes, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska, and in other fragile

"The Bush-Cheney energy plan promises a new assault on the safeguards that 
protect the blue waters of the Great Lakes and the blue skies of the Great Lake 
State," said Daniel Farough, Voter Education Coordinator, Michigan Chapter of 
Sierra Club.  "Their plan for addressing high oil prices include drilling in 
fragile areas, weakening health standards to build energy facilities, and 
helping oil companies -- all at the expense of Michigan's working families."

During a visit to Traverse City, Michigan, earlier this week, Cheney said that 
he "didn't know" whether he would support or oppose drilling for oil underneath 
the Great Lakes. (AP, 9-26-00) "Slant drilling" under the Great Lakes could 
devastate the Lakes' fragile coastlines if there were a leak, spill or other 
accident as have occurred at Prudhoe Bay and many oil drilling sites around the 

"It's shocking that Gov. Bush and Mr. Cheney would consider drilling for oil 
under the Great Lakes.  That's like saying they would use the Mona Lisa for 
tissue paper.  Their thirst to increase oil drilling could devastate the Great 
Lakes -- Michigan's life blood," added Farough.

Farough cited a number of other anti-environmental statements and positions 
taken by Gov. Bush and Mr. Cheney:

* Gov. Bush's energy plan is likely to include a call for "more domestic 
exploration" ( CNN, 9-27-00). In a speech on September 21, 2000, Bush said, "I 
believe we need to open up ANWR, which is in Alaska, and believe we can do so in
an environmentally friendly way." Unfortunately, oil production in Prudhoe Bay, 
Alaska has been very dirty.  There are over hundreds of oil spills annually, 
with thousands of gallons of oil.  Last year, BP-Amoco was fined $22 million for
illegally dumping toxic waste at Prudhoe Bay oil fields.

* Cheney said "I think we ought to develop the ANWR reserves in Alaska.  In my 
opinion it would be silly not to."  (9/21/00)

* "Bush intends to call for greater domestic oil exploration and less regulatory
red tape that has hampered the development of new refineries, electric 
generating plants and natural gas pipelines." (Detroit News, 9-28-00)  Many of 
these rules derided by Bush are designed to protect people from water and air 

* Bush's energy plan is likely to benefit oil companies.  "I'll have an energy 
policy which will empower producers," he said on September 1, 2000, 

* Gov. Bush weakened water quality standards for a number of Texas rivers and 
lakes, threatening recreational angling in some of these waters.  (Beaumont 
Express, 7-27-00) Texas has the third highest amount of toxic industrial 
discharges into surface waters, and toxic water pollution has increased by 15% 
under Bush.  (Toxics Release Inventory, Environmental Protection Agency, 

* Bush has opposed enforcement or legislative action to protect the environment.
 He said: "I don't think you can litigate clean air and clean water. I don't 
think you can legislate clean air and clean water." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer,
8-12-00) Texas has the most clean water violations of any state in the nation. 
(U.S. PIRG, 2-00)

* Cheney was one of only eight House members to vote against the renewal of the 
Clean Water Act.  Every Senator and Representative from Michigan voted for it. 
(H.R. 1, 1-8-87)

The Sierra Club has 630,000 members nationwide, including 18,000 in Michigan.

# # #

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