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Energy rep takes heat

A top Bush administration energy official drew tough questions at a joint Hillel-JCPA event. Andrew Karsner, an assistant secretary at the Energy Department, addressed the joint Hillel-Jewish Council for Public Affairs plenary session Sunday. He advocated Bush’s “Twenty in Ten” plan to reduce oil consumption by 20 percent within a decade. “We don’t need to make everyone aware of the disease to make a dedicated, continual effort,” Karsner said of environmental awareness programs. Students challenged Karsner on the Bush administration’s rejection of the Kyoto Agreement on climate change; they also accused the administration of not presenting a clear enough plan to fight global warming and of ignoring some of the global-warming science explained in the Academy Award winning documentary, “An Inconvenient Truth.” Much of the three-day Hillel conference was dedicated to energy independence and environmental protection.