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March 06, 2008 CORE press release
From The Congress of Racial Equality


CORE's Roy Innis Says Energy Costs Will Rise If Environmentalists Have Their Way, Hurting American Minorities and the Working Poor

NEW YORK (March 6, 2008) - Congress of Racial Equality Chairman Roy Innis is promising to sue the Bush Administration if it lists the polar bear as "threatened" under the Endangered Species Act because such a listing will drive up energy prices and hurt America's working poor more than any other element of society.

Speaking this week at the 2008 International Conference on Climate Change in New York City, Innis said an ESA listing of the polar bear would give environmental extremists a powerful weapon with which to stop energy development in the Lower 48 -- from oil and natural gas production to construction of needed coal-fired and other power plants to even renewable fuels facilities.

Innis said that this will "result in higher energy prices across the board which will disproportionately be borne by minorities. It will cause countless families in our country in winters ahead to choose between food on the table and fuel in the furnace."

Innis, a long-time civil-rights activist, said "energy is the master resource of modern society ... with abundant, reliable, affordable energy, much is possible. Without it, hope, opportunity and progress are hobbled.

"Laws and policies that restrict access to America's abundant energy drive up the price of energy and consumer goods. They cause widespread layoffs, leaving unemployed workers and families struggling to survive, as the cost of everything they eat, drive, wear and do spirals out of control. They could roll back some of the civil rights progress for which civil rights revolutionaries and Dr. (Martin Luther) King died."

An ESA listing for the polar bear -- which could come in the next few weeks -- has been pushed by environmental elitist groups as a means of slowing economic growth and forcing climate change regulation onto the American people through the Endangered Species Act.

Even as the World Wildlife Fund says the bear is "currently stable, with at least 22,000 polar bears worldwide," a number that has doubled or more since 1965.

Listing the polar bear as "endangered" could spawn lawsuits and impose restrictions on carbon dioxide emissions, with a severely negative impact on the economy, said Innis.

Innis has said that "Oil, gas, coal and other resources on America's citizen-owned public lands could meet U.S. energy needs for centuries. Developing these resources, with full regard for ecological values, would generate jobs, economic growth and tax revenues, stabilize energy prices, and reduce our need to buy oil from unfriendly countries.

"Onshore and offshore public lands could hold enough oil to produce gasoline for 60 million cars and fuel oil for 25 million homes for 60 years, and enough natural gas to heat 60 million homes for 160 years."

Listing the polar bear as threatened or endangered "would trigger the intrusion of bureaucrat involvement in all aspects of our activities and will unleash a string of lawsuits against virtually every energy development project in the country. If (an ESA listing) is done, we will be forced to file a suit to challenge the government's plan," Innis said.

The 2008 International Conference on Climate Change is the first major international conference to focus on issues and questions not answered by advocates of the theory of man-made global warming. Speakers and attendees include hundreds of scientists, economists, and public policy experts from around the world.

Innis was exposed to climate variation dynamics while studying chemical engineering at the City College of New York. He also was a research chemist at Vick Chemical Company. He talks about his life-long interest in science and commitment to civil and human rights in his new book, Energy Keepers Energy Killers: The New Civil Rights Battle.

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About CORE:
Founded in 1942, CORE is the third oldest and one of the "Big Four" civil rights groups in the United States.  From the protests against "Jim Crow" laws of the 40's through the "Sit-ins" of the 50's, the "Freedom Rides" of the 60's, the cries for "Self-Determination" in the 70's, "Equal Opportunity" in the 80's, community development in the 90's, to the current demand for equal access to information and affordable energy, CORE has championed true equality. For more information, please go to http://www.core-online.org
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