WASHINGTON -- Coal has become the Bush administration's
"fuel of choice," a new report by the Center for Public Integrity says.
The watchdog group argues that the coal industry,
which donated more than $250,000 to Bush's 2000 campaign, has thrived under the Republican administration.
The administration reversed Clinton-era pollution
rules, decided against capping carbon dioxide emissions and withdrew from the Kyoto global warming treaty. It altered regulations
governing technology at power plants and oil refineries, grandfathering in older facilities.
Coal also plays a prominent role in administration-backed
energy legislation, with $2 billion set aside for clean coal research. The bill currently is in legislative limbo.
When Bush was sworn in, coal was battling
regulatory efforts that would have made it an "economically unviable" energy source, the Center for Public Integrity writes.
"Less than three years later, coal is once
again king. Bush, an oil man whose biggest campaign contributor was natural gas giant Enron Corp., has done more to advance
the interests of coal than for any other sector of the energy industry."
Copyright 2003 Charleston Daily Mail