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E-M:/ State of the Union: President's Warmed-Over Proposals Fail to Cut Oil Dependence and Global Warming

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

For Immediate Release:
January 23, 2007

David Willett, 202-675-6698

   Bush Offers Warmed-Over Proposals that Fail to Cut Oil Dependence and
                              Global Warming
       Statement of Carl Pope, Executive Director of the Sierra Club

Our socks are still on. Despite the warning from the President's economic
advisor that the State of the Union would "knock your socks off in terms of
our commitment to energy independence," so far we have heard no new
evidence that this administration understands what it will really take to
break our oil addiction or curb global warming.  In fact, the President's
proposals are more likely to make the problems worse.

The policies that follow these speeches continue to reflect the interests
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.

In regard to this year's specific proposals, the president is misleading
the American people on what will solve oil dependence and global warming.
The President is focusing on the wrong solutions when the right ones are
easily done and are a better deal for America. For example, the President
assumes that fuel economy will increase but fails to order an increase when
a 40 mile per gallon standard is the single biggest step we could take to
curb global warming and end oil dependence. We would be less dubious of the
president's intentions if he had promised to raise the standards instead of
assuming that they will rise four percent a year.  The President also
continues to call for drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge when
it will do nothing to decrease our oil dependence.  And the President does
little to address the fact that we can't solve global warming without
making and using electricity more efficiently.

The policies accompanying the President's address are a retread of the
same, tired package of drilling, weakened clean air protections and
increased use of coal and nuclear power.  And when it comes to better
solutions, the President talks about a destination without providing a map
to get us there.

If done correctly, alternative fuels such as cellulosic ethanol may be part
of the solution to oil addiction and global warming.  But despite the
President's proposal at last year's State of the Union Address, we have
seen little progress in the right direction.  And there is little reason to
believe this year's proposals will result in any more progress than last
years'.  Alternative fuels must be part of a package which focuses
primarily on a real increase in fuel economy for cars and trucks, a real
commitment to renewable energy like wind and solar and increased
efficiency.  Such a mix of solutions provides the best deal for Americans
by creating jobs, boosting the economy, fighting global warming and
protecting the world our children and grandchildren will inherit.

Because 2006 was the United States' warmest year, and global warming
received unprecedented attention,  Americans want to learn more about what
they can do, what business can do and what the government can do. For too
long President Bush and former Congressional leadership fed Americans
misrepresentations manufactured by  polluters.  In contrast, the new House
Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming which Speaker
Pelosi has created, and the Senate Committee on the Environment chaired by
Senator Boxer, bring the government of the United States into this dialogue
for the first time in six years in a positive, constructive and visionary


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

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