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Gephardt Holds Conference at Exxon, Proposes Energy Plan

Aired May 15, 2001 - 13:33   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
NATALIE ALLEN, CNN ANCHOR: Democrats in Congress don't want you to get too pumped up over the president's energy platform, before you hear their ideas for promoting conservation and new technology.

And they are just starting a news conference outside of the Exxon gas station. And we'll listen in to what they have to say. Here is Dick Gephardt.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

REP. DICK GEPHARDT (D-MO), MINORITY LEADER: Good afternoon.

Energy and energy prices are one of the most important issues facing the American people in the year 2001. Today, we are releasing the Democratic energy policy, which we think is far superior to the policy that will be presented by the administration on Thursday.

Energy is not plentiful enough in our country and the costs that people are paying for it are too high. In order to address this problem, we need a balanced program. And the program we are announcing today we feel is that balanced program. I'm very proud of the members that are standing here. We have worked hard to roll out a set of policies that will address both our short and long-term energy needs. More than that, it's a guide that incorporates all of the major elements that we need to meet this challenge.

Our energy principles include helping families and businesses cut their energy costs now, which will save money and energy for the American people. They include making America the world leader in energy efficiency by tapping into our bottomless capacity for innovation and new technologies to improve peoples' lives. And they include producing enough energy for America, using both traditional and renewable sources without sacrificing our environment and our children's future.

I want to make this point very strongly: we believe we can have more than adequate supplies of energy and save our environment at the same time if we do the right things in research, on renewables on conservation and new sources of energy in high technology. We do not accept the belief that this administration apparently has that we have drill our way out of this problem. That we basically have to sacrifice our environment to solve the problem. We don't believe that. We believe there is win-win-win solution. Now, this administration has put together it's policy behind closed doors with the officials and lobbyists of the energy industry. This is not the kind of balanced policy that we ought to have. I believe we can do much better and I believe this energy policy by Democrats will lead the country in that direction.

I would like to call on Martin...

ALLEN: All right, Dick Gephardt standing at an Exxon gas station, where I believe it said, supreme gas costs $1.93 a gallon, saying that it is more supplies of energy are needed and that the Democratic plan can achieve that and save the environment at the same time.

And the Democrats claiming that the Republicans plan believes the country should have to drill itself out of this problem. We will hear more about the Bush administration's energy plan on Thursday.

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