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  Geotimes - March 2007 - Bush renews call for renewable fuels
NEWS NOTES — NEWS
Policy
Bush renews call for renewable fuels

Although healthcare and the Iraq strategy were hot topics of discussion following President George W. Bush’s State of the Union address Jan. 23, energy was front and center in the domestic portion of this year’s address. Bush called for a 20 percent reduction in gasoline consumption over the next ten years to help decrease emissions and lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil. Achieving that goal, he said, will require producing more alternative fuels and setting new fuel economy standards.

In a speech reminiscent of the 2006 State of the Union, in which Bush called America “addicted to oil” and introduced the Advanced Energy Initiative that focuses on the development of new technologies to advance the U.S. beyond petroleum, Bush said this year that “the way forward is through technology” (see Geotimes online, Web Extra, Feb. 3, 2006). Furthermore, he said in the speech, “we must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol — using everything from wood chips, to grasses, to agricultural wastes.” He asked members of Congress to pass legislation that would require production of 35 billion gallons of alternative fuels by 2017.

This goal is reasonable if the appropriate funding is made available, but “there’s a lot of work to be done to get to that level,” says George Douglas, a spokesperson for U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

In addition to highlighting ethanol, Bush also called for more research on hybrid and electric cars and for new fuel economy standards to help reduce gasoline consumption. New technologies “will help us become better stewards of the environment — and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change,” Bush said — the first time Bush has mentioned global climate change in seven State of the Union addresses.

Cassandra Willyard
Geotimes contributing writer

Links:
"Bush addresses alternative energy," Geotimes online, Web Extra, Feb. 3, 2006

For more about Bush’s State of the Union address, read the original story posted online Jan. 25, 2007, in the Geotimes Web Extra archive at: www.geotimes.org/WebextraArchive.html.

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