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Environmental Protection & Preservation


Environmental Groups Say Their Energy Platform Sets Example for President


The following is a statement by Betsy Loyless of the National Audubon Society:

After a long period of sustained attacks on the environment, the 110th Congress restores balance to conservation policy. It's a welcome change after having to wage defensive battles for so long.

But even with the significant electoral changes that we've just seen, there will be limits to what is achievable. This is largely because we have a White House that has yet to deliver on its own rhetoric about ending our dependence on fossil fuels, and up to now has placed its emphasis on helping Big Oil. Even our most beautiful places, like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, have been made targets as a result of the administration's oil "fix" mentality.

To put the President's anticipated State of the Union Address in some context, we should bear in mind that last year, the President proclaimed "that America is addicted to oil," and later said that our "long term solution is to get off oil." It's hardly an understatement to say the administration has fallen very short of that goal.

2007 and 2008 could be very different, however. Not only is the Congress off to a great start by taking up HR 6, but it also seems possible that the Bush administration could reassess its own commitment up to now. The fact that the administration is considering listing the polar bear as threatened -- in part due to global warming -- is a positive signal and hopefully an indicator of some change in direction.

I am enthusiastic about the energy platform environmental leaders are unveiling today. It points the way toward a brighter future and is a powerful counterpoint to the failed policies and empty rhetoric of the past. I'd advise the Bush administration to consider it a roadmap that helps make good on its own promises to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels.

The time for failure and false starts is over. Our dependence on oil has endangered our national security, our economy and our natural resources to the breaking point. It's clear now that good environmental policy is also the key to a better, more stable economy. Our platform, which is online at http://saveourenvironment.org/, gives bold but specific steps that unleash America's creative ingenuity and business savvy toward positive ends.





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