Bush's Trump Card: More Gallons Per Mile

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Card rapped as stooge: Critics say energy advice is tainted

The Boston Herald, Feb. 7, 2006

Environmentalists yesterday blasted President Bush’s energy budget as the product of an administration dominated by ex-oil and auto industry executives — including former auto lobbyist turned White House chief of staff Andrew Card.

The administration defended its proposed energy spending plan as an attempt to wean the nation off foreign oil, something Bush vowed to do during last week’s State of the Union address in which he said the nation was “addicted” to oil. Among other things, the administration yesterday outlined its plan to eliminate $61 million now earmarked for oil and gas research.

The president’s budget proposal also includes nearly a half-billion dollars in new funds for scientific research into new energy technologies.

But critics ripped into the president’s plan, saying it devotes hundreds of millions of dollars to promote nuclear energy and to open up drilling in the Artic Circle.

Jeremy Marin, a regional representative in the Sierra Club’s Boston office, said the entire Bush energy policy has been flawed since Bush took office in 2001.

He noted that many administration officials came from the oil and auto industries, including Card, a Massachusetts native who previously served as head of the now-defunct American Automobile Manufacturers Association and later as a lobbyist for General Motors.

“If Andrew Card and the White House wanted to do something for America, (then) they would require cars to go farther on a gallon of gas,” said Marin, saying the administration’s call last year to increase auto fuel-efficiency standards was inadequate.

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