Criticizes Congressional Republicans For Rejecting Renewable Energy

Burlington, VT, October 1, 2003

“In 2002, President Bush told us, 'We need an energy bill which will encourage the use of renewable energy. We can do that.' We can, but Bush's allies in Congress are making sure it doesn't happen.

“Despite pleas from a bipartisan group of 53 senators, the Republican leaders of the House-Senate conference have eliminated a provision to require that our nation generate 10% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020. Countries like Denmark and Holland already produce almost 20% of their electricity from renewable sources like wind, solar and biomass. The U.S. used to lead the world in this kind of technology, now we are falling behind.

“We need to make a serious investment in renewable energy. It's important for our security, it's important for our environment and it's important for our economy. We should be aiming even higher—for a 20% standard by 2020.
Unfortunately, just as with the Bush-Cheney energy plan, Republicans are letting industry lobbyists write this energy bill behind closed doors without
input from Democrats or even moderate Republicans. One industry lobbyist called this bill 'the mother lode.'

“I believe that we should be writing an energy bill that will provide a 'mother lode' of clean, secure, renewable energy for our children, not a 'mother lode' of fat profits for people like Ken Lay. That is why I will continue to call for the Senate to hold Governor Leavitt's nomination as EPA chief until this Administration and its allies drop this terrible energy bill and agree to work with Democrats to write a bill worth passing.”

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