WASHINGTON – Sen. John Kerry accused the Bush administration of putting special interests ahead of the environment and called for a renewed national commitment to clean air, water and land.
"Corporate polluters have found that in the Bush administration the doors of government are wide open," Kerry, D-Mass., said in remarks prepared for delivery Sunday night. "Almost as soon as this administration took office they invited in the chief lobbyists to rewrite the very laws that were intended to protect our land, our water, and our air. And not surprisingly, the result was the biggest retreat on environmental protections in a generation."
Kerry, one of six seeking the Democratic presidential nomination, was to deliver the speech at the John F. Kennedy Library in Boston.
Several of the candidates have been critical of President Bush's environmental record and plan to make it an issue in the campaign.
Kerry criticized the Bush administration for failing to clean toxic waste sites, planning to ease clean air rules, refusing to fix and sign the Kyoto Agreement on global warming and proposing to drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Kerry called for energy from renewable sources like biomass, wind, solar and geothermal. He called for research for cleaner and more efficient burning of fossil fuels, including more efficient automobiles.
He said Bush's energy plan would lead to more pollution and dependence on foreign oil, putting national security at risk.
"The Bush-Cheney energy policies leave us at the mercy of a region that's racked with violence and instability, now more than ever," Kerry said. "Every day our service men and women put their lives on the line so that oil can flow from around the world to America's gas stations."