Howard Dean Calls for Renewables, Fuel Efficiency, Global Cooperation

Democratic presidential candidate Howard Dean delivered the first major environmental speech of his campaign in San Francisco yesterday, calling for increased use of renewable resources, better fuel efficiency, and the elevation of the U.S. EPA to a cabinet-level agency. Specifically, Dean said that as president, he would mandate that 20 percent of the nation’s electricity come from renewable power by 2020, and require the auto industry to improve fuel efficiency for all vehicles to 40 miles per gallon by 2015. In addition, he pledged that he would provide more money for environmental enforcement and rejoin the global community by participating in international environmental treaties and creating strong environmental protections in trade agreements. Dean also used the occasion to harshly criticize President Bush, dismissing his “Clear Skies” and “Healthy Forests” initiatives as “Orwellian doublespeak.”