News Release

Interviews Available on Domestic Policy Issues

WENONAH HAUTER
Hauter is director of Public Citizen’s Critical Mass Energy Project. She said today: “It is outrageous that the Department of Energy had to be taken to court to be forced to release the documents relating to Vice President Cheney’s energy task force. We will look forward to the documents becoming public and seeing the role that energy corporations played in writing the energy legislation now being considered in Congress. Notwithstanding the administration’s stonewalling and disregard for the public’s right to know, it is clear that the Bush-Cheney energy plan was heavily influenced by fatcat energy industry tycoons, for fatcat energy tycoons. And the administration’s proposals reflect a heavy dose of influence by former Enron Chairman Ken Lay. Unfortunately, the sweeping energy bill crafted by Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle and Senate Energy Committee Chairman Jeff Bingaman also mirrors many of the misguided energy policies that were announced last year in the Bush administration’s energy plan. Even in the wake of the Enron fiasco, as politicians publicly sound the call for closer monitoring and oversight of the energy industry, the Senate bill would further deregulate energy markets and erode consumer protections.”
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MIMI ABRAMOVITZ
Abramovitz is a professor at Hunter College School of Social Work and author of the book Under Attack, Fighting Back: Women and Welfare in the United States as well as the just-released report “In Jeopardy: The Impact of Welfare Reform on Non-Profit Agencies in New York City.” She said today: “President Bush’s welfare plan will drive more women and children into poverty. Many women left welfare during the economic boom, but most could not make ends meet — given their low wages and part-time work. Increasing the work requirements, as Bush has proposed, will only make matters worse…. Our recent study, based on interviews with senior staff at 107 New York non-profit agencies, found a major unforeseen consequence of welfare reform: it has increased the financial and emotional stress of low-income families and made it more difficult for non-profit social service agencies to address their needs. Unable to reduce the welfare rolls further through tough work rules, the administration has decided to spend scarce welfare dollars to promote marriage by adding motivational pre-marital counseling to the mostly ineffective welfare-to-work programs — as if people simply need to be convinced of the value of marriage.”
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For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; David Zupan, (541) 484-9167