As anticipated, President George W. Bush devoted a significant portion of his 2007 State of the Union address Tuesday evening to energy.
“For too long our nation has been dependent on foreign oil,” said President Bush. “It’s in our vital interest to diversify America’s energy supply. The way forward is through technology.”
The audience applauded seven times during the four minutes devoted to energy issues in the president’s address, including once when he mentioned biodiesel and once for ethanol.
“We need to press on with battery research for plug-in and hybrid vehicles and expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel. (applause) We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol (applause) using everything from wood chips to grasses to agricultural wastes.”
The president called on Congress to reduce gasoline use in the United States by 20 percent in the next decade.
“To reach this goal we must increase the supply of alternative fuels by setting a mandatory fuel standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017 – and that is nearly five times the current target.” That statement was met by a standing ovation led by a jubilant Senator Chuck Grassley from the number one ethanol producing state of Iowa.
Bush noted that achieving these goals will dramatically reduce dependence on foreign oil but not eliminate it, so he also asked that Congress to double the current capacity of the strategic petroleum reserve.
And while he briefly mentioned confronting the “serious challenge of global climate change,” the president did not specifically ask Americans to make lifestyle changes to conserve fuel as news sources anticipated prior to the address.
In the Democratic response to the President’s address, Senator Jim Webb of Virginia began by saying that energy independence was one area where the Democrats agreed with the administration and that they looked forward to working with him on that issue.
Listen to the energy portion of the President’s address: President Bush
(4 min MP3)