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E-M:/ MI Groups Blast Bush Energy Plan -- Press Release

Enviro-Mich message from "Alison Horton" <alison.horton@sierraclub.org>

League of Conservation Voters      Sierra Club
Michigan Environmental Council      National Environmental Trust
Public Interest Research Group in Michigan

For Immediate Release:                                    Contact: Dan
Farough, (517) 484-2372
May 18, 2001                                                  Vicki
Levengood, (517) 230-3968, cell

Groups Chart An Energy Strategy that Works
The President's Plan Makes the Wrong Choices
for our Health and the Environment

LANSING -- President Bush's Energy Plan doesn't work and threatens the
health of families and the environment in Michigan, according to
environmental groups in the state.  Michigan Environmental Council, Sierra
Club, the Public Interest Research Group in Michigan (PIRGIM), National
Environmental Trust, and League of Conservation Voters Education Fund
released their assessments of the Bush Energy Plan today at the State
Capitol in Lansing.  They presented a very different approach that would be
cleaner, cheaper, quicker and safer.

According to the groups, the Bush plan makes the wrong choices,
overwhelmingly favoring harmful coal, oil, and nuclear energy and giving
only lipservice to clean energy and efficient technology.  "The Bush
proposal is dirty, dangerous and doesn't deliver for consumers," said Brian
Imus, Advocate for PIRGIM.  "This proposal virtually ignores energy
efficiency, which is the cleanest, cheapest, quickest way to save consumers
money, reduce pollution, and insure against blackouts. This plan will not
result in significant shifting to clean, renewable energy production and
will only make us more reliant on fluctuating fossil energy markets."

"President Bush's plan makes the wrong choices by relying on digging and
drilling, whether it's in the Great Lakes or the Arctic Refuge, and nuclear
power as a way out of our energy problems.  The plan fails to make energy
efficiency and renewable energy the real cornerstones of our policy,"
according to Alison Horton, Midwest Regional Director for the Sierra Club.
"We need a balanced plan."

The building blocks of a balanced energy plan are: investing in energy
efficiency; developing cleaner, renewable energy sources including wind and
solar; replacing old, inefficient, dirty power plants with new, efficient,
combined cycle gas plants; uncapping
and increasing production from existing oil and gas fields using improved
technology; raising fuel efficiency standards for cars and SUVs; and
upgrading transmission line technology to increase capacity and efficiency.

"The President's energy plan makes expansion of dirty coal plants a
centerpiece.  In Michigan, studies estimate that 850 people die prematurely
each year due to pollution from dirty power plants," commented Lana Pollack,
Michigan Environmental Council President.  She added, "These coal plants are
also largely responsible for the pollution which triggers asthma attacks.
Detroit suffers from one of the highest rates of childhood asthma in the
country.  We simply can't afford to make this energy choice."

"The President's own budget undercuts his energy plan when it comes to
efficiency and renewable energy," noted National Environmental Trust's Vicki
Levengood.  "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.

"Raising fuel economy for cars and SUVs to 40 miles per gallon is the
biggest single step President Bush could have taken to cut our oil
dependence and curb global warming -- but instead of taking action that
would save billions of barrels of oil and save consumers billions of dollars
at the gas pump by raising fuel economy standards, the President calls for
more delays and studies," noted Sierra Club's Horton. "The plan suggests tax
credits for high-mileage, hybrid gas-electric vehicles, but the devil's in
the details, and many details are still under wraps."

"The Bush proposal for an energy policy is a political pay-back to the oil
industry executives who gave enormous contributions totaling at least 1.5
million dollars to George W. Bush's campaign.  Now that the proposal has
been released, we can see that these special interests got their money's
worth and more.  Bush wants to drill in our national treasures, loosen
environmental regulations that protect clean air and facilitate our
dependence on oil, gas and coal," said Jeff Irwin, representing the League
of Conservation Voters.

The groups made available a Clean Energy Blueprint for Michigan and
background materials on the right energy choices for our health, for the
health of the Great Lakes, and for the future.  More information is
available from: Sierra Club, Lansing, (517) 484-2372; MEC, Lansing, (517)
487-9539; PIRGIM, Ann Arbor, (734) 662-6597; LCV, Ann Arbor, (734) 327-7154;
NET, Lansing, (517) 230-3968.


Alison Horton
Midwest Regional Staff Director
Sierra Club
109 E. Grand River, Lansing, MI 48906
(517) 484-2372 (P)  (517) 484-3108 (F)
(517) 282-0572 (mobile)

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