President Bush says the nation is on the verge of technological energy breakthroughs:
"Our nation is on the threshold of new energy technology that I think will startle the American people," Bush said. "We're on the edge of some amazing breakthroughs — breakthroughs all aimed at enhancing our national security and our economic security and the quality of life of the folks who live here in the United States."
Visiting Milwaukee, Wisconsin the President discussed his Advanced Energy Initiative. He noted that less than half the crude oil used by U.S. refineries is produced in the country, while 60 percent comes from foreign nations. The President also noted that some of these foreign suppliers have unstable governments that have fundamental differences with America:
"It creates a national security issue and we're held hostage for energy by foreign nations that may not like us," Bush said.
According to the White House transcript, the President asked his audience to think 25 years:
Think back 25 years ago, in the start of the 1980s. It's not all that long ago, really. Some of us remember the '80s pretty clearly. (Laughter.) A lot of kind of grey-haired folks here that lived through the '80s. (Laughter.) Then most Americans used typewriters, instead of the computers. They used payphones -- you remember what those were -- instead of cell phones. They used carbon paper instead of laser printers, bank tellers instead of ATMs, and they played the license plate game on trips, as opposed to DVDs. (Laughter.) Times have changed a lot in 25 years, because of technology.
[. . .]
Technologies are helping this economy become more efficient. Listen to this: Over the last 30 years our economy has grown three times faster than our energy consumption. The economy has grown three times faster than energy consumption.
President Bush also explained what he thinks should be done about the national security problem, and economic security problem:
Making the R&D tax credit permanent.
Increasing the federal commitment to certain basic research programs in the physical sciences.
Transforming the way we power our cars and trucks by investing in new kinds of vehicles that require much less gasoline such as hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrids.
Find new advanced fuels to replace gasoline such as ethanol, E85 (85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline) producing ethanol from wood chips and other natural materials, and hydrogen fuel cells.
Diversify how we power our homes and offices by reducing our reliance on natural gas for electricity generation, continuing to develop cleaner coal technology, building new nuclear power plants, and developing solar and wind power.
The President's well considered Advanced Energy Initiative is a well thought out plan to wean the U.S. from its dependence upon unstable foreign energy sources. As thorough as the president's proposals are the don't satisfy the tree-huggers. What would? According to the Associated Press, Energy conservation groups and environmentalists contend the proposals don't go far enough. It seems only greater fuel-efficiency standards for cars, and higher gas taxes will make them happy.