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E-M:/ State of the Union: Bush Energy Plans Won't Break Oil Addiction

Enviro-Mich message from "Anne Woiwode" <Anne.Woiwode@sierraclub.org>

For Immediate Release:
January 31, 2006

David Willett, 202-675-6698

                Bush Energy Plans Won't Break Oil Addiction
       Statement of Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club

In tonight's State of the Union address, President Bush admits that America
has an oil addiction but fails to offer the immediate solutions that exist

When you have an addiction you don't say 'I'll try to kick the habit in 10
or 20 years.'

President Bush missed a historic opportunity to present a vision for
leading America out of its energy crisis and oil addiction.  Rather than
decisively putting clean, cheap, smart energy solutions to work, the
President's energy proposal is little more than a repackaging of the same
old wish-list for corporate lobbyists that fails to provide America with
adequate environmental protection, security, or job-creation.  From
drilling in the Arctic Refuge, to weakening clean air and other
environmental protections, to spending billions of dollars to revive a
failed, dangerous nuclear power program, this administration is unwilling
to put actual 21st century solutions to work.

An energy policy that put our families ahead of corporate lobbyists would:

.     Invest in better technology to lower energy bills,
.     Invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency
.     Produce clean, homegrown energy while creating millions of new jobs
.     Raise fuel economy standards to save more oil than the United States
currently imports from the entire Persian Gulf or could ever take out of
the Arctic Refuge, combined.

By investing in modern technology, America could cut its dependence on
dirty fossil fuels while saving consumers money, preserving treasured
places, and keeping Americans safer.   We don't need to put the health and
safety of our families at risk or sacrifice our most treasured lands to
meet our nation's energy needs.

America sits on three percent of the world's oil but consumes 25
percent--as long as we are dependent on oil, we will be dependent on
foreign oil.

President Bush knows that Americans are dissatisfied with current energy
policy.  Every trip to the gas station or the emergency room for an asthma
attack reminds Americans that our country is still reliant on expensive,
outdated, and polluting sources of energy like coal and oil.  But instead
of being honest with Americans, President Bush says one thing while doing
another. When the cameras are on and the public is watching, he talks about
investing in sources of clean energy and cutting America's dependence on
oil and other dirty sources of energy.  But when it comes time to put
policies in place, the administration has consistently sided with huge
profit-bloated energy companies and opposed taking steps that would lower
energy bills and cut America's oil dependence.

A closer look at the proposals laid out by the President reveals that
instead of charting a new course, he is taking the country backwards with
an expensive and dangerous energy plan.  At a time when we are trying to
keep countries such as Iran from expanding their nuclear programs, it is
irresponsible for the Bush administration to push dangerous nuclear
technology worldwide.  Nuclear power is prohibitively expensive, produces
highly radioactive waste, provides too many opportunities for accidents and
terrorist attacks and won't do the job of curbing global warming.

There are better, cleaner, and cheaper energy solutions that can be used to
meet our energy needs and protect the environment.

President Bush has talked about ethanol and renewable energy before in
speeches like this.  But time and again the resulting policy reflects the
desires of the giant oil, coal and nuclear industries--not real-world
solutions that would benefit the environment and the American consumer.
Americans are still facing higher energy costs, more pollution and less
national security while oil companies like ExxonMobil are posting
record-high profits.

Cellulosic ethanol is ethanol made in a cleaner process from a woody plant
like switchgrass instead of corn.
While developing cellulosic ethanol can significantly reduce the
environmental drawbacks of that fuel, President Bush is failing to take the
single biggest step towards reducing our oil dependence--making our cars,
trucks and SUVs go farther on a gallon of gas.

President Bush spends a great deal of time discussing security, but even in
addition to suggesting an increase in dangerous nuclear plants, the Bush
administration has also failed to provide security at existing chemical
plants. Better fences and more guards at chemical facilities alone are
unlikely to stop determined terrorists.  Instead, President Bush and
Congress should enact legislation that requires chemical facilities to
reduce the consequence of chemical terrorism by considering and reporting
on possible use of safer chemicals and technologies

President Bush has continued down a path of doing what is good for big
energy companies, and failing to take common sense steps that will benefit
our communities and our families.  America can better meet its energy and
security needs through energy efficiency, renewable energy like solar and
wind power, and responsible additions to supply.  Every dollar invested in
renewables and efficiency makes America more secure without making our
families less safe or saddling future generations with debt.

                                   # # #

David Willett
National Press Secretary
Sierra Club
(202) 675-6698 (w)
(202) 491-6919 (m)

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