With troubling opportunism, the president of the National Resources Defense Council is using the Sept. 11 terrorist bombings to promote a senseless political agenda.

In a message to "Earth Activists," NRDC Pres. John H. Adams tries not only to harvest propaganda out of tragedy but also to affiliate oil with terror.

"As Americans, we must now join together in shaping a strong response to terrorism," Adams writes. "For NRDC that means advocating policies that will immediately begin reducing our nation's dependence on oil, whether imported or domestic."

The implication that fighting terrorism means reducing US dependence on oil is ridiculous. And to people who produce energy, it's profoundly offensive.

From his absurd fusion of oil and terrorism, Adams proceeds in the Earth Action message with standard environmentalist exaggerations about the drawbacks of petroleum and the potential of alternatives.

Argument over those issues should occur at another time.

What shouldn't pass without notice is the NRDC president's willingness to leverage political objectives against a suicidal massacre that has put the US on war footing and turned thousands of families to grief.

How dare he?

Even by the slumping standards of modern political conduct, Adams's usurpation of the moment is appalling.

For now, that's all that needs to be said.

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