Teamsters Dump Turtles to Pass Bush Energy Plan
Interview by Between The Lines' Scott Harris.
Republicans celebrated as environmentalists mourned the passage of the Bush energy plan in the House of Representatives Aug. 2. The bill, which emphasizes energy production over conservation, won by a margin of 240 to 189, with three dozen Democrats joining the GOP majority to support the legislation. Major battles were fought to prevent drilling for oil and gas in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and to increase vehicle fuel efficiency standards, but in the end environmentalists and their allies lost on both counts.
A coalition of powerful interests were responsible for the Republican victory. The auto and oil industries joined forces with the Teamsters union to convince enough conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans to pass the Bush plan virtually intact. Consideration of energy policy now moves over to the U.S. Senate where Democrats hold a narrow majority. John Kerry, Democrat of Massachusetts, widely thought to be a presidential hopeful, has vowed to block any authorization to drill in the environmentally fragile Arctic Wildlife Refuge.
Between The Lines' Scott Harris spoke with Jason Mark, clean vehicles program director with the Union of Concerned Scientists, discusses the environmental consequences of the Bush energy policy and the labor/industry coalition that lobbied to pass the president's bill(A RealAudio Version of this interview may be found At http://www.btlonline.org) .
Contact the Union of Concerned Scientists by calling (617) 547-5552 or visit their Web site at www.ucsusa.org
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