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BUSH DOE BUDGET: NATIONAL ENERGY TRAGEDY, SAYS SAFE ENERGY COMMUNICATION COUNCIL

 BUSH DOE BUDGET: NATIONAL ENERGY TRAGEDY,
 SAYS SAFE ENERGY COMMUNICATION COUNCIL
 WASHINGTON, Jan. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- The Safe Energy Communication Council issued the following:
 The Safe Energy Communication Council (SECC) denounced the Bush administration's 1993 budget request for the Department of Energy as "a national energy tragedy" during the department's budget briefing today.
 "This budget is a national energy tragedy," said SECC Research Director Martin Gelfand. "In his State of the Union address, President Bush told Congress to end 'pork-barrel appropriations.' We agree. Congress should comply by slashing from the president's DOE budget costly, unnecessary pork-barrel expenses like more taxpayer bailouts for nuclear power."
 Mirroring previous Bush/Reagan budget requests, the funding proposal continues to favor nuclear power over more affordable, cleaner and safer alternatives like renewable energy and energy efficiency. Energy efficiency and renewable forms of energy generation such as solar power, wind power and biomass fuels have shown a far greater potential than nuclear power for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and curbing dependence on oil.
 These programs suffer from a "shell game" in the FY93 budget request. The administration would add $70 million to Conservation R&D, for a total of $366 million. But State and Local Conservation R&D programs would be slashed by $85 million, to $155 million -- a net loss for non-nuclear R&D of $15 million (see chart below).
 Despite gathering exhaustive testimony and data concerning the best course for a National Energy Strategy during 1991, Bush administration officials turned away from American sentiment that would place energy efficiency and renewable energy at the cornerstone of our nation's energy policy. The FY93 budget request would again award nuclear fission and fusion R&D the lion's share of funding, nearly $1.4 billion. This represents an increase of more than $100 million for nuclear power over last year's congressional appropriation.
 "It is clear that President Bush has the welfare of the nuclear industry in mind, not the welfare of taxpayers or the environment," said SECC Executive Director Scott Denman. "This budget proposal is a tired retread of previous Cold War era thinking on energy -- not visionary leadership that capitalizes on America's economic and technical potential."
 For nearly half a century the government has coddled the nuclear industry while it failed to deliver on promises of cheap electricity, safe management and a permanent safe storage site for radioactive waste. Renewable energy sources now provide more energy than nuclear power, and energy efficiency and conservation measures since 1973 currently save Americans approximately five times more energy than nuclear power produces.
 "Congress must act now to reject this wayward budget request and fund a sensible energy strategy based on clean, domestic, renewable energy sources and efficiency," Gelfand said. "We cannot afford to wait until the next war, the next nuclear accident or the next major oil spill."
 Department of Energy Research and Development Budgets
 (in millions)
 Congressional Appropriations
 Admin.
 Request
 FY1980 FY1990 FY1991 FY1992 FY1993
 Nuclear Fission 1,097.3 595.9(A) 516.8(A) 939.2(A) 1,016.6(A)
 Nuclear Fusion 420.3 330.8 273.6 337.1 359.7
 Nuclear Total 1,517.6 926.7 790.4 1,276.3 1,377.0
 Conservation R&D 343.7 194.1 218.7 296.0 366.4
 Renewable Energy 718.5 113.1 157.7 241.7 247.0
 State/Local Cons.
 Program (Non-R&D) 434.7 217.5 276.5 240.3 155.0
 (A) Includes Nuclear R&D and nuclear waste category
 "Environmental Restoration"
 Sources: Department of Energy, Congressional Research Service,
 Congressional Budget Office
 The Safe Energy Communication Council (SECC) is an environmental coalition of national energy, environmental and public interest media groups working to increase public awareness of the ability of energy efficiency and renewable energy sources to meet an increasing share of the nation's energy needs, and of the serious economic and environmental liabilities of nuclear power. For more information contact: SECC, 1717 Massachusetts Ave., N.W., Suite LL215, Washington, D.C. 20036; 202-483-8491.
 -0- 1/29/92
 /CONTACT: Chris Nichols of the Safe Energy Communication Council, 202-483-8491/ CO: Safe Energy Communication Council ST: District of Columbia IN: OIL SU: EXE


MH-DC -- DC017 -- 4783 01/29/92 13:42 EST
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Date:Jan 29, 1992
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