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Bush To Call for 20 Percent Reduction in Gas Consumption by 2017
State of the Union speech also will discuss programs against HIV/AIDS and malaria
By Stephen Kaufman


January 23, 2007

In his annual State of the Union Address to the U.S. Congress, President Bush plans to propose lowering the U.S. consumption of gasoline by 20 percent within 10 years by replacing current fuel sources with alternatives, such as corn ethanol, and increasing the efficiency of cars, light trucks and sport utility vehicles (SUVs).



The president will speak at the U.S. Capitol at 9 p.m. EST on January 23.

In his comments on energy, Bush is expected to discuss technological developments that are designed to decrease U.S. dependence on foreign oil and decrease carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to global climate change, according to the White House.

Bush also will discuss U.S. efforts to combat HIV/AIDS through the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). The $15 billion program is supporting treatment for 2 million people over five years, and especially targets countries in Africa and Asia.

He also will talk about the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI), a five-year, $1.2 billion joint program with the private sector that seeks to cut the mortality rate from malaria by 50 percent in 15 of the hardest-hit African countries.

According to excerpts released ahead of the speech, the president will say, "To whom much is given, much is required. We hear the call to take on the challenges of hunger, poverty, and disease ­ and that is precisely what America is doing,"

On Iraq, Bush is expected to discuss the importance of helping Iraq's new democracy establish itself and become successful, and he will announce the creation of a special advisory council on the War on Terror comprised of Democratic and Republican congressional leaders.

"We will share ideas for how to position America to meet every challenge that confronts us. And we will show our enemies abroad that we are united in the goal of victory," Bush will say.

The president also is expected to renew his call for comprehensive immigration reform, including the creation of a temporary worker program for some non-U.S. residents who are already in the country. Bush will argue that the United States simultaneously can be law abiding, economically dynamic and welcoming to immigrants.

U.S. interests are harmed when its laws and borders routinely are violated, but "we cannot fully secure the border unless we take pressure off the border ­ and that requires a temporary worker program," Bush will say.

The president's speech marks the first time he will address a Congress controlled by the Democratic Party. In congratulating the Democrats, Bush will call for bipartisan cooperation, saying "we can work through our differences, and achieve big things for the American people."


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