Presidential Bait and Switch on Energy Policy

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State of the Union highlights clean energy; President’s budget highlights drilling; Statement of Rodger Schlickeisen, President, Defenders of Wildlife

(02/06/2006) - Washington, D.C. - "It took only one week for the truth to come out on the President’s State of the Union speech highlighting clean energy. In his speech, he promised us a new forward-thinking energy policy, but today he trotted out many of the same, tired old ideas for addressing our energy needs; the most offensive is the notion of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"Drilling in the Arctic Refuge is a 20th century solution to a 21st century problem. It is an obsolete proposal that has been rejected by the American public and both houses of Congress time and again. Drilling in this pristine wilderness will not solve our energy problems, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, or lower gas prices. It is simply a gift to big oil companies already swimming in profits.

"What America needs now is true leadership on energy issues. We must look forward to meet our energy needs and embrace clean energy solutions that keep our economy moving while protecting the natural world for future generations. We must support responsible approaches to managing our offshore oil and gas resources, while protecting our coastlines. And we must protect the special places that are so much a part of America’s natural heritage, including the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

"The President talked a good game as he addressed the nation, but his deeds fell short of his rhetoric. It would seem the President needs to kick his own addiction to oil before he can help us kick ours."

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Defenders of Wildlife is recognized as one of the nation's most progressive advocates for wildlife and its habitat. With more than 490,000 members and supporters, Defenders of Wildlife is an effective leader on endangered species issues.

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Contact(s):

Deborah Bagocius, (202) 772-0239
Cindy Hoffman, (202) 772-3255

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