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The Bush Record on Energy: Big Oil, Big Profits
The Democratic National Committee

The Bush energy policy is crafted by the energy industry, for the energy industry. It has profits in mind, not consumers or the environment. And by continuing to rely on fossil fuel and foreign oil -- and only paying lip service to renewable energy and conservation -- it fails to address the real problems.

Bush Energy Policy Prioritized Industry's Needs

Energy Industry Enjoyed Special Access to Bush Task Force. Vice President Dick Cheney has gone all the way to the Supreme Court to block efforts to find out details of the energy task force he headed. But some general information on its proceedings has become public. Nine days before Bush's inauguration, energy industry lobbyists gathered in the American Petroleum Institute's offices to make a "wish list" for the Bush energy plan. The list was forwarded to the Bush energy transition team and eventually to the energy task force. Task force officials met with 118 energy groups, and only 13 environmental groups, five academics and one consumer group. The Washington Post reported: "A first review of the 11,000 pages of documents bolsters the contention...that the Bush administration relied almost exclusively on the advice of executives from utilities and producers of oil, gas, coal and nuclear energy while a White House task force drafted recommendations that would vastly increase energy production." [Newsweek, 5/10/01; New York Times, 5/10/01; 5/20/01; USA Today, 5/14/01; Washington Post, 3/26/02]

Bush Supports Energy Subsidies That Benefit Industry. The Bush Administration supports the House energy bill, which includes energy industry tax breaks and subsidies costing $23 billion over the next 10 years. The energy bill provides billions of dollars in benefits to companies run by at least 22 executives who have qualified as either "Pioneers" or "Rangers," individuals who raised $100,000 or $200,000 each for Bush's re-election campaign. [Washington Post, 11/24/03]

Bush Energy Policy Fails to Solve America's Problems

U.S. Dependence on Foreign Oil is Rising. The Energy Department projects that the U.S. will increase its dependence on foreign oil to 68 percent by the year 2025 -- up from 55 percent currently. Bush's response -- proposing drilling in delicate lands in Alaska as well as various national monuments and public lands -- is woefully inadequate. [Energy Information Administration, "Annual Energy Outlook 2003 With Projections to 2025," 1/9/03; Denver Post, 3/15/01; Washington Post, 4/18/02; Associated Press, 3/29/01]

Cheney Dismissed Conservation as a Solution. Cheney said the only solution to the reliance on foreign oil is a government-backed push to find new domestic sources of oil and gas, including in protected areas of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and an all-out drive to build power plants. He predicted the U.S. will need "one new electricity-generating plant a week for 20 years." The New York Times reported: "Cheney dismissed as 1970's-era thinking the notion that 'we could simply conserve or ration our way out' of what he called an energy crisis." Said Cheney: "To speak exclusively of conservation is to duck the tough issues. Conservation may be a sign of personal virtue, but it is not a sufficient basis for a sound, comprehensive energy policy." [ New York Times, 5/1/01; Washington Post, 5/1/01]

Bush Energy Policy Fails to Fund Renewable Energy

Bush's Budgets Consistently Slash Renewable Energy Programs. Bush's 2002 budget cut funds for renewable energy resources by $190 million. Bush's 2003 budget reduced funding for renewable energy programs by $35.8 million. Bush's 2004 budget slashed funding to renewable energy programs by $137 million. Bush's 2005 budget cut overall energy efficiency and conservation by more than $2 million. [Budget for FY 2002, Energy Programs; LCV Budget Analysis, www.lcv.org; Congressional Research Service, "Renewable Energy: Tax Credit, Budget, and Electricity Production Issues," 2/6/02]

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