Bush Urges US to “Get Off Oil”

Cindy Zimmerman

As crude oil jumped to new record highs on the New York mercantile exchange due to falling oil inventories, trading over $104 a barrel, President Bush renewed his support for ethanol as a means toward energy independence.

Speaking at the Washington International Renewable Energy Conference 2008 (WIREC) Wednesday, Bush said, “America has got to change its habits. We’ve got to get off oil.”

WIREC BushTo do that, he mentioned just about every alternative, domestic energy source possible – from ethanol and biodiesel to wind and solar, hydrogen and nuclear. He discussed the need for vehicles that run on alternative fuels, including plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and he visited with manufacturers of those types of vehicles at the WIREC trade show.

He also stressed the administration’s commitment to research and development of cellulosic ethanol.

“I look forward to the day when Texas ranchers can grow switchgrass on their country, and then have that switchgrass be converted to fuel,” he said. “I look forward to the day when people in the parts of our country that have got a lot of forests are able to convert wood chips into fuel. And those days are coming.”

The president called biodiesel “the most promising” of the renewable fuels. “Biodiesel refineries can produce fuel from soybeans, and vegetable oils, and recycled cooking grease, from waste materials,” Bush noted. “All you out there with waste, you may be in business before you know it as this new technology kicks in. Most Americans — or, more Americans are beginning to realize the benefits of biodiesel every year.”

Read the president’s entire address to WIREC here.

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