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Carl Pope

Carl's new weblog:
Taking the Initiative.

Field Notes Archive

Which is worst?
Vote for the Bush administration's
biggest folly!

Carl Pope's Field Notes

The Biggest Challenge....
20, 2004

"The biggest challenge is going to be how to best utilize taxpayer dollars to the benefit of industry." -- Mike Smith, assistant secretary for fossil fuels at the Department of Energy.

I had to laugh this morning when I read the President is blaming the country's record high $2.00 a gallon gas prices on Congress's failure to pass his energy bill. Are we talking about the same energy bill? The one that promises the oil, gas, coal and nuclear industries billions in subsidies, does little to promote conservation or renewable fuels, and was written by Vice President Dick Cheney's secret task force of industry lobbyists and executives like Enron's Ken Lay?

The Sierra Club has sued the Vice President to find out exactly who attended those task force meetings. The case has gone all the way to the US Supreme Court and we expect a ruling by the end of June.

Our case against the Vice President, and this White House's obsession with secrecy, are just two of the things people want to talk with me about as I crisscross the country on this book tour, talking to Americans from New Hampshire to Seattle about the Bush administration's willful and disastrous reversal on our common commitment to protect our air, water and land.

In the coming weeks and months I will be sharing with you what I hear and learn and what surprises me. Like the 73 year old man who came up to me after a lunch program on global warming in Palo Alto, California, to tell me that even though he's never voted for a Democrat before, he is so disgusted with the Bush administration's record on the environment, he might change his ways. He told me when the Republican Party asked him for a check, he refused and lambasted the caller, saying "You have turned my party over to a bunch of religious fanatics who are ruining the earth and don't even believe in evolution."

In Columbus, Ohio, yesterday, I met with the Mayor and his chief of staff -- they are really working hard to do their part to improve the quality of life in that city, clean up the sewage, improve housing, get better transit -- but they have literally given up on getting help from this Administration. They're doing their part, though -- putting a major bond measure on the ballot to fund the improvements that the Bush administration will no longer help with. We've got to connect the dots for folks, so they understand that there is sewage on the beaches because of decisions George Bush made.

I'm in Chicago today and off to Cleveland tomorrow. I'll let you know more about what I've been hearing from the Midwest in a couple of days.

In the meantime, don't forget to participate in our poll to choose the worst environmental abuses of the Bush administration:

Based on the early results, I'm guessing there have been quite a few respondents from Columbus, Ohio!