Groups Say Bush Energy Plan Threatens Environment, PublicHealth

President Bush's energy plan has prompted\r\nstrong criticism from environmental groups who believe the plan would\r\nthreaten the environment and public health while providing no relief\r\nto consumers facing high energy bills.

The energy plan President Bush released last week has prompted strong criticism from environmental groups who believe the plan would threaten the environment and public health while providing no relief to consumers facing high energy bills.

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) said, the plan offers some incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources but the plan is heavily biased in favor of the coal and oil industries.

"The Bush plan is a recipe for higher energy bills and more pollution," said David Hawkins, director of NRDC''s Climate Center. "It would provide no relief for Americans struggling to pay their gas and electric bills. And, the Bush plan would despoil the environment, threaten public health and accelerate global warming. Furthermore, the plan would have no impact on energy prices, and no practical effect on U.S. dependence on foreign sources of oil."

NRDC released a 35-page analysis titled "Slower, Costlier and Dirtier: A Critique of the Bush Energy Plan."

This analysis follows on the heels of a report the group released in February which offers and alternative to meeting energy needs without undermining environmental safeguards.

The cornerstone of NRDC''s plan is increased energy efficiency and fuel efficiency that relies on readily available, cost-effective technologies.

"Increasing reliance on energy efficiency and renewable energy sources would be the quickest, cleanest and cheapest way to meet our energy needs," said Daniel Lashof, science director at NRDC''s Climate Center.

The Sierra Club also said that the president''s energy plan makes the wrong choices and urged a balanced approach.

"The energy plan President Bush unveiled won''t work because it makes the wrong choices," said Carl Pope, executive director of the Sierra Club. "We can''t dig, drill and destroy our way to energy independence. Instead, Americans want a balanced approach that gives us quicker, cleaner, cheaper, safer solutions like energy-efficient technologies, renewable power like solar and wind, and responsible additions to supply."

by Virginia Sutcliffe

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