Believing that Al Gore is vulnerable on the issue of high oil prices, George W. Bush is planning to unveil an energy policy on Friday. It will include steps to reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil and boost domestic supply, said Lawrence Lindsey, Bush’s senior economic advisor. While Gore has proposed tax breaks and other incentives to encourage people and companies to buy fuel-efficient cars and energy-efficient technologies, Bush’s plan won’t rely much on conservation. “We’re more for supply,” Lindsey said. But he did point to one conservation idea — charging higher prices for energy use during peak periods — which he attributed to Kenneth Lay, the chief executive of Enron Corp. and one of Bush’s “Pioneer” fundraisers. Meanwhile, two of Bush’s and two of Gore’s environmental advisors debated yesterday. Montana Gov. Marc Racicot (R) and Florida environmental official David Struhs said that Bush would bring with him “a new era of environmental protection” by giving states more control, while Katie McGinty, a former Clinton administration environmental official, and Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening (D) argued for a strong federal role in environmental protection and painted a grim picture of Bush’s environmental record as governor of Texas.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.