Right in the Solar Plexus
From the believe-it-or-not department: To cover the costs of printing its 170-page energy plan last May, the Bush administration tapped into the Department of Energy’s solar and renewable energy and energy conservation budgets. Documents released under court order by the DOE on Monday night indicate that $135,615 of the renewables and conservation budget was spent to print 10,000 copies of the drill-mine-burn plan, which, needless to say, is much reviled by enviros. Another $1,317.39 went toward printing “briefing boards” used by administration officials to explain the plan, and $176.40 helped send one lucky member of Vice President Dick Cheney’s energy task force to Alaska to promote the plan. At the same time that it was spending the renewables budget and keeping the copiers humming, the administration was busy lobbying Congress to cut funding for renewables and energy-efficiency research by more than 50 percent. Somehow, it’s cold comfort that the administration also took $100.92 from the DOE’s fossil energy program to pay for a hotel room near the Government Printing Office.