Business execs and military leaders smack down Bush energy policy

Prominent business execs and retired military officers are down on their knees begging Congress and the Bush administration to cut U.S. dependence on oil. “It’s the height of folly for the U.S. to continue on this course, lest we have some major economic or national-security problem,” says FedEx CEO Frederick W. Smith, cochair of the Energy Security (God-Knows-We-Need-) Leadership Council. Along with repetition of the domestic-drilling-and-biofuels-will-save-us refrain, the council is asking the feds for a 4 percent annual increase in fuel-economy standards for cars, SUVs, and heavy trucks. The 16 members — including higher-ups from Dow Chemical, Waste Management, UPS, Goldman Sachs, and Southwest Airlines — will advertise and lobby to nearly halve U.S. oil dependence by 2030. And, says soon-to-be House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), “When prominent CEOs and military leaders get together to advocate an issue as important as energy security, people listen.” Guess we’ll find out.