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Greens See Reckless Energy Policies Behind the Blackout.

Friday, August 22, 2003

Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator, 207-326-4576, 
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624,

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- "President Bush's comments in the wake of last week's blackout are correct -- we need a practical restructuring of the U.S.'s inefficient and dangerous energy system," said Don Eichelberger, Energy Action Group coordinator for the Green Party of California. "We need to begin by reversing the deregulation of the electrical power industry, which has proved itself more concerned about profits than in improving safety and efficiency."

Greens note that the power failure caused nine nuclear reactors to shut down, revealing the vulnerability of nuclear power and the peril it poses to the surrounding environment, especially nearby cities and towns. The Green Party of the United States has called for public control and re-regulation of electricity; conversion from fossil fuel and nuclear to safe, clean, renewable solar, wind, and fuel cell energy; and reduced consumption.

Greens have also supported decentralized production of electricity and incentives for local generation of energy, such as rooftop solar panels. In Delaware, Greens fought the sale of Delmarva Power to Potomac Power, an out-of-state utility on the basis of responsiveness to the community, protection of the pensions of retired workers, and the need for money to be set aside for development of green energy initiatives.

"In June 2001, President Bush lobbied against legislation to provide $350 million worth of loans to update the power grid after weaknesses were exposed," said Mark Dunlea, chair of the Green Party of New York State. "He convinced Republicans in Congress to vote it down. We must hold Bush and his party responsible for the blackout and its disastrous financial effect on cities throughout northeastern and midwestern states."

"If reform means further deregulation, gifts and deals for energy and power companies, and greater corporate control over energy policy, we're going to see a lot more breakdowns, security breaches, energy crises of the kind we saw in California, and Enron-style scandals," said Beth Ingalls, Green member of the Truckee, California City Council. "Unfortunately, this is the direction we're headed under the Bush Administration."

The Green Party of the United States 
202-319-7191, 866-41-GREEN

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