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Bush Again Calls for Development of Alternate Energy Sources


February 22, 2006
Wednesday AM

The United States must reduce its heavy dependence on oil -- much of it imported from uncertain sources overseas -- to enhance both its national security and economic security, President Bush says.

jpg Bush

President George W. Bush delivers remarks on energy at Johnson Controls in
Milwaukee, Wisconsin, on Monday.
White House photo by Eric Draper

Choosing a Milwaukee, Wisconsin, facility of the technology-based Johnson Controls Inc. as the venue for his February 20 speech, Bush called for rapid development of alternate fuels and technology for both motor vehicles and the nation's homes and offices.

The president repeated a phrase he had used in his State of the Union address January 31, declaring, "America is addicted to oil."

His talk in Milwaukee amplified some of the themes he raised in that address to Congress and the American people, urging quick and thorough attention to the energy problem to "help make sure this country remains a world leader."

"I think we're in an important moment in history, and that we have a chance to transform the way we power our economy and how we lead our lives," Bush declared.

Addressing security concerns, Bush observed, "Some of the nations we rely on for oil have unstable governments, or fundamental differences with the United States . It creates a national security issue when we're held hostage for energy by foreign nations that may not like us."

He cited three specific avenues for cutting reliance on oil to fuel cars and trucks:

  • Continued development of hybrid vehicles that use electricity to supplement gasoline;
  • Use of alternate fuels like ethanol, produced from corn and potentially even materials like wood chips, stalks and switch grass; and
  • Research into the "exciting new technology" of nonpolluting hydrogen fuel cells to power cars.

As for the energy needed for homes and offices, the president called for diversification, expanding the use of coal, nuclear power and renewable sources of energy -- like wind and solar power -- while reducing the reliance on natural gas.

He cited federal government funding of research efforts at developing clean coal technology "to make sure that we don't pollute our air" in expanding coal use.

And, he said, "I think we ought to start building nuclear power plants again." He said he was encouraged by recent indications that a growing number of companies are interested in building new nuclear plants.

Bush said the United States must help other countries build nuclear power industries as well, but in such a way as to avoid concerns of possible weapons proliferation.

Given the global nature of today's economy, he said, "demand for oil in China and India affects prices here in America. And so, therefore, if we can help relieve the pressure off of demand for fossil fuels, it helps the entire world."


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