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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
DATE: May 17, 2001
CONTACT: Craig Cheslog, Redefining Progress
510-444-3041

BUSH ENERGY PLAN FAILS A KEY TEST:
THE NEED TO REDUCE AMERICA'S RELIANCE ON FOSSIL FUELS

OAKLAND, Calif.—The National Energy Policy announced today by President Bush does not outline a way for America to reduce its demand for fossil fuels, a resource with a limited supply. Bush's energy plan, as a result, fails to meet Redefining Progress' key principle for any realistic long-term energy plan: a steady reduction of the nation's reliance on fossil fuels.

"Only energy plans that focus on reducing our dependence on fossil fuels have a credible chance of succeeding over the long-term," said Redefining Progress Executive Director Joanne Kliejunas. "President Bush's plan fails this test. It does not offer treatment for America's nearly total and increasingly debilitating addiction to fossil fuels."

"President Bush does deserve credit, unlike the Democratic leadership, for emphasizing the need for long-term solutions. His plan's policy recommendations, however, are not viable in the long-run," added Kliejunas.

"While we may think fuel prices are high today, the price of America's failure to seek treatment for its fossil-fuel addiction will be even higher. We face a future of more price shocks, greater dependency on foreign energy sources, additional pollution, and increased greenhouse gas emissions," said Kliejunas. "Kicking our fossil-fuel habit, meanwhile, would have substantial long-term benefits for our economy, national security, and the environment."

Redefining Progress yesterday outlined six principles for evaluating whether an energy plan will have a credible chance to improve our nation's energy situation over the long-term. Successful energy plans would:

  1. Steadily reduce the nation's reliance on fossil fuels.
  2. Nurture a diversity of energy resources.
  3. Promote energy efficiency and conservation.
  4. Price energy accurately.
  5. Employ mechanisms that assist households most vulnerable to energy price increases.
  6. Ensure that environmental impacts of energy generation are borne fairly by all socioeconomic groups.

"It is time for us to rethink our long-term energy strategy. We have to reorient our economy and get beyond looking for our next fossil-fuel fix," said Kliejunas. "Pushing America's energy addicts to produce and consume more oil, natural gas, and coal simply is not a workable solution."

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