Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Giuliani plants energy policy flag

In an address to the Manhattan Institute on June 13, possible Republican presidential candidate and former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani tweaked the Bush administration's current energy policies and staked his claim to being out front on energy and environmental issues -- issues some of his prospective Democratic presidential rivals are also mulling these days.

The New York Times reported that Giuliani said the Bush administration "lacked an energy policy and that greater reliance on nuclear power, ethanol-based fuels and hybrid vehicles was more realistic than President Bush's goal of independence from foreign energy sources."

Focusing more on the political overtones of Giuliani's speech than the energy-policy substance, the Times also noted that Giuliani "did not criticize Mr. Bush by name." Small wonder, considering that Giuliani's broad proposals are very close to the measures Bush is promoting.

In the 2006 State of the Union, in addition to calling for less reliance on oil, Bush specifically mentioned investment in nuclear energy, hybrid and electric car development, and new technologies that could make "ethanol practical and competitive within five years."

At least one environmental group noticed the similarity between the two positions. The Times quotes the Natural Resources Defense Council's Ashok Gupta as saying of Giuliani's speech, "There's not a lot here that's different from what Dick Cheney would say."

Meanwhile, one of Giuliani's highest-profile potential presidential rivals, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), is set to receive the Energy Leadership Award from the Energy Efficiency Forum, an annual event that the United States Energy Association and Johnson Controls sponsor.

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