ST. PAUL -- Dozens of protesters jammed a downtown street corner Thursday morning as President Bush visited St. Paul to promote his new energy policy.
Representing Greenpeace, the Sierra Club and other environmental groups, the protesters blared rock music, chanted slogans and waved signs outside the RiverCentre complex, where Bush was to speak.
Some of the signs read: " Save the Arctic, " " Give us clean energy, not polluted power, " " No Nukes" and " Count the Vote."
The protest was peaceful and drew people of all ages, including mothers carrying children on their backs and senior citizens.
In a bit of street theater, some protesters walked around with surgical masks labeled CO2 masks -- a reference to carbon dioxide, which has been blamed for global warning -- while others wore caricatured George Bush masks.
" His secret energy commission that was headed by Vice President Cheney is really creepy, " said Pat Nevin, an attorney from St. Paul who took a vacation day to join the protests. She was also bothered by Bush' s show of support for St. Paul Mayor Norm Coleman, who' s expected to seek the GOP nomination to run against Democratic Sen. Paul Wellstone.
"I think it' s disgusting that he came to Minnesota and he' s trying to get his oily hands all over Paul Wellstone, " Nevin said
But not all those gathered were against Bush.
Susan Manson, a nurse from Minneapolis, came to the rally straight from work. Holding a sign that said " Bush for Minnesotans, " she said she liked the president' s plan to boost energy supplies.
" I think that we do need more energy sources, " Manson said. " I think he wants to conserve, but he also wants not to be under the Arabs' dominion."
Bush was in St. Paul to tour District Energy, a company that uses a combination of conventional fuels, like coal and oil, and biomass -- in this case, waste wood -- to heat and cool 146 downtown buildings and 300 nearby homes to boot.
District Energy is expanding its use of renewable energy and hopes to begin creating and selling biomass-generated electricity by December 2002.
Copyright 2001 Associated Press.