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The Money Programme Thursday, 18 October, 2001, 14:20 GMT 15:20 UK
The Toxic Texan

Despite the threat to the environment and global warming George Bush While wants to expand America's energy industry.

Europe is trying to cut carbon dioxide emissions George W Bush want to expand the number of power stations in America.

The USA already produces a quarter of the world's greenhouse gases. But the Bush administration now wants over 1300 new power stations to be built, even though this means more carbon dioxide polluting the atmosphere.

For the past decade America hasn't built any coal-fired power stations, which produce far more carbon dioxide than gas-fired stations. Under George Bush, that is set to change. "There's never been a better time to be in the coal industry than today", Fred Palmer, a director of Peabody, the world's largest coal-mining company tells the Money Programme.

Track Record

And like many American business leaders who seem to have the ear of President Bush, Palmer doesn't believe in the dangers of global warming. "I don't think anyone can sit here today and say a hundred years from now five degrees Fahrenheit is going to cause a problem".

Opponents have Bush 'The Toxic Texan' because of his record on pollution in his home state.

However not everyone is unhappy with Bush's environmental track record. The power brokers of Big Oil and King Coal are delighted with the new President. Frank Sprow of Exxon, the world's largest oil company, tells the Money Programme: "I think having people in Washington who understand our industry is very welcome."

Bush has long had close links with the energy business. Not only did President Bush work in the oil business, so did the Vice-President and two other members of his cabinet. Energy companies contributed generously to the Bush campaign, sometimes by unorthodox means.

Environmentalists are aghast. Campaigner Robin Schneider warns: "Global warming is changing our entire world and George Bush is abandoning his commitment to do anything about it."

The Money Programme examines the links between George Bush and the energy industry and looks at what could be the consequences his ambitious plans for expansion.

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