Double, Double Oil and Trouble
George W. Bush unveiled an energy plan on Friday that would boost domestic oil production significantly and open Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) and other federal lands to drilling. Speaking at a Michigan auto plant, Bush hammered at some of Al Gore’s environmental beliefs. “The vice president likes electric cars — he just doesn’t like making electricity. In speeches, he calls autoworkers his friends. In his book, he declares the engines they make an enemy,” Bush said. (Still, it seems that Bush is having a hard time convincing autoworkers that Gore’s environmental views threaten Michigan’s economy.) Bush said royalties from drilling in ANWR would support conservation efforts, and he proposed increased funding for research into “clean coal” technologies and tax credits for companies that produce energy from alternative fuels. Meanwhile, Gore ripped into Bush’s plan for ANWR, saying it would “bring decades of environmental damage to reap just a few months of increased oil supply.” He said the U.S. must reduce its dependence on oil and called for more investments in the “job-creating, environmental-protecting technologies of the future.” Gore’s running mate, Joe Lieberman, traveled to Houston to attack the environmental record of former oilman Bush in the governor’s home state.