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Michigan governor cites energy concerns in GOP radio address

DETROIT, Michigan (CNN) -- Michigan Gov. John Engler said the Mideast crisis had sparked concerns among Americans "about the threat of fuel shortages" and he attacked the Clinton-Gore administration for failing to "develop a coherent energy policy."

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Engler said in the Republican radio address on Saturday that unrest in the Mideast had caused oil costs to soar and that the attack on the USS Cole had "made markets even more nervous."

Blaming the administration for being unprepared, he said many people dependent on home heating oil are concerned they won't be able to keep their homes warm this winter.

"This is unacceptable," Engler said. "If our country had had a coherent energy policy over the last eight years, then we'd be prepared for temporary shortfalls and disruptions. But the fact is we aren't."

He said that the Clinton administration had allowed U.S. dependence on foreign oil to increase 7 percent since 1993 and said the United States needs "an energy policy that encourages domestic production in environmentally safe ways." He said both Alaska's Democratic governor and Wyoming's Republican governor are ready to make contributions to end the energy crisis.

Engler criticized Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore's energy proposals and said the vice president has repeatedly called for higher fuel taxes and negotiated a failed international emissions treaty "that treats America unfairly."

He also railed against President Clinton's decision to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, suggesting it was a political maneuver to help the vice president in the election.

"The petroleum reserve is not a political reserve -- and raiding it won't lower fuel prices in the long run," Engler said.

The Michigan governor began the radio address Saturday by offering his condolences to the family of Missouri Gov. Mel Carnahan, who, along with his son and a top aide, was killed in a small plane crash Monday.


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Saturday, October 21, 2000


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