Natural Resources Defense Council ‘Cries Wolf’ Over Consultation on Bush Energy Plan, by Christopher Burger

BACKGROUND: Supposedly worried that environmental groups were not consulted when the Bush administration developed its energy plan, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) filed a lawsuit to force the Department of Energy (DOE) to release documents revealing the names of consulted organizations. However, according to a series of articles in the Washington Times by Patrice Hill, a letter from the DOE to the General Accounting Office shows that the DOE did seek advice from many environmental groups, including NRDC. Some environmental groups declined to provide advice to the administration. The Times also reported that the NRDC initially did not return phone calls and messages from DOE, and later simply referred DOE to a pre-existing document they had released.

TEN SECOND RESPONSE: NRDC’s accusations are another attempt to wrongly make it appear that the Bush administration has an anti-environmental agenda.

THIRTY SECOND RESPONSE: The NRDC criticized the Bush administration for allegedly adhering to industry proposals while not consulting with environmental groups. However, when the administration asked environmental groups for advice, many were unenthusiastic about providing counsel. The environmental movement is attempting to diminish the administration’s ability to protect the environment while criticizing it for a supposed lack of success.

DISCUSSION: According to the Washington Times, the Bush administration asked for input from environmental groups such as NRDC, Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and others when formulating energy policy. Reports that the administration is solely adhering to industry ideas are false. According to the Times, the American Petroleum Institute made 25 recommendations to be included in the administration’s plan, only four of which were adopted. Similarly, the National Mining Association had only two of its 20 recommendations included in the energy plan. Environmentalists fared far better: The administration adopted nearly half of the 17 recommendations in NRDC’s report.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: To read Patrice Hill’s series in the Washington Times, see: “Energy Sought Greens’ Advice” at (March 27), “Green Groups Back Off Energy Panel Complaints” at (March 28) and “Greens Had Energy Plan Role” at (March 30).

For a brief look at how NRDC is misguided regarding clean air, see: “Sierra Club & NRDC Urge Calls to White House about Clean Air Rules and New Source Review” by Gretchen Randall at

For a look at NRDC’s views on global climate change and the Kyoto Protocol, see: “Natural Resources Defense Council Attacks Administration on Kyoto Protocol” by Tom Randall at

For a look at how NRDC and other environmental groups use fear tactics to promote their agenda, see: “The Environmental Movement: Profiting from the Politics of Fear,” by John Carlisle at


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