Matthew's Foray into Blogging

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Did He Really Mean That?

On the State of the Union Address, AP White House Correspondent Terence Hunt wrote, “A politically weakened President Bush declared Tuesday night that America must break its long dependence on Mideast oil.” It is a good sign that weaning America off Middle East oil is on President Bush’s radar. However, nowhere near the steps that could have been taken have been taken. Further, his political-speak plan is not as practical and realistic as it could be.

President Bush has been in office for roughly six years. The fossil fuel situation, though, is no better than it was when he assumed the presidency. It is worse off than it was during the seventies and early eighties, when the Arab oil embargo necessitated fuel efficient cars. President Bush’s plan sets a goal for a reduction in oil imports from the Middle East twenty years into the future, long after he is gone from the Oval Office. The Middle East accounts for less than five percent of U.S. oil imports (so it is a mystery why we are even poking around in that hornets’ nest).

One thing that President Bush did not call for or propose in his Address was increased fuel economy in automobiles. Cars and trucks utilize a tremendous amount of oil. Improving gas mileage would seem to be an obvious place to start.

President Bush’s words regarding abandoning Middle East oil might have been too fantastic to have been believable.

Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem: America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable alternative energy sources – and we are on the threshold of incredible advances.

So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative – a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research – at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy. (Applause.)

We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We’ll also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years. (Applause.)

Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. (Applause.) By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment, move beyond a petroleum-based economy, and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.

United States Capitol
Washington, D.C.
January 31, 2006


  • His office issued some retractions on this issue on Wednesday, saying that he didn't mean it "literally"

    Look at the post on my blog for the extended explanation

    By Blogger Steve, at 5:24 AM, February 03, 2006  

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