CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- West Virginia Gov. Cecil Underwood criticized the Clinton-Gore administration Saturday for failing to develop a national energy policy.
The administration needs to promote energy production from U.S. sources but instead "treats American energy producers as the enemy," Underwood said in the Republican Party's weekly national radio address.
Underwood's remarks followed George W. Bush's criticism of the Clinton administration for putting "our economy and the way of life it supports" at risk by failing to develop a comprehensive energy policy.
Bush introduced a 10-year, $7.1 billion program to increase the nation's fuel sources.
Underwood criticized President Clinton's recent decision to tap the nation's oil reserves because of high international prices.
The decision was "an ill-advised, election-year ploy to deplete energy reserves set aside for times of real crisis," Underwood said. "We would not be in this position if the Clinton-Gore team had done anything in the past eight years to work with energy producers in the United States instead of working against them."
Underwood, who is involved in a tight re-election campaign against U.S. Rep. Bob Wise, D-W.Va., is a harsh critic of Vice President Al Gore's push for an international global warming treaty, which calls for emissions cutbacks that would severely tighten regulatory control of coal-fired power plants.
"The vice president's stated goals would devastate coal mining in my state and several states in Appalachia and the mountains of the West," Underwood said.
"Coal fired-power plants generate a majority of the nation's electric power, yet the Gore approach would replace them -- I guess with windmills."
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