President Bush nukes Washington Renewable Energy Conference

Press release - March 5, 2008
In his keynote address at the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference today, President Bush failed again to make any meaningful commitments to reduce the United States’ global warming emissions. Instead, he took the opportunity to promote nuclear power to an audience of the world’s leading renewable energy experts.

While lauding the delegates as "pioneers on the frontiers of change," instead of talking about how renewable energy and energy efficiency would meet the world's growing energy needs while solving the climate crisis, the President continued to promote an increased reliance on nuclear power. The President said he expected to have received 19 applications to build new nuclear plants by the end of the year and spoke of US18 billion in loan-guarantees that his Administration had obtained from Congress for nuclear energy, compared to US10 billion for renewable energy expansion.

"After more than seven years of dithering, procrastination and climate denial, Greenpeace held out a slim hope that President Bush would take this last opportunity to bring the world's largest  greenhouse gas emitter into line with other countries in promoting renewable energy targets. But, true to fashion, he took the 'A-Train'. A huge part of his speech was clearly meant for a different audience, an audience stuck in the 2Oth century fantasy of a nuclear future," said Sven Teske of Greenpeace International.

While Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte acknowledged yesterday that US government policy must facilitate 'real solutions' to climate change, President Bush today returned to the same tired calls for 'voluntary' pledges of action. "The only thing vaguely renewable about President Bush's speech was the tired rhetoric of voluntary measures," said Chris Miller of Greenpeace USA. "Seven years of voluntary measures have produced nothing but ever-accelerating global warming emissions. Fortunately, the US Presidency is renewable - President Bush's time is running out, and now we must ask the presidential candidates how they will address the global climate crisis and what their visions for a renewable energy future entail."

While President Bush has no vision for solving climate change, Greenpeace has shown that there is a path to achieving a 50% reduction in the world's global warming emissions by 2050.  Greenpeace's Energy [R]evolution blueprint shows that renewable energy, combined with greater energy efficiency, can deliver half of the world's energy needs by 2050.

Other contacts: Chris Miller, Greenpeace USA Global Warming Campaigner +1 202 641 7468Sven Teske, Greenpeace International Climate & Energy Campaigner +31 6 212 96894Jane Kochersperger, Greenpeace USA Media Officer +1 202 680 3798