Was für ein Wandel. Man mag es kaum glauben...
Bush Speech to Outline Energy Alternatives By NEDRA PICKLER,
Associated Press Writer
2 hours, 57 minutes ago
WASHINGTON - Trying to calm anxieties about soaring energy costs,
President Bush is using his State of the Union address this week to
focus on a package of energy proposals aimed at bringing
fuel-saving technologies out of the lab and into use.
In Bush`s vision, drivers will stop at hydrogen stations and fill
their fuel-cell cars with the pollution-free fuel. Or they would
power their engines with ethanol made from trash or corn. More
Americans would run their lights at home on solar power.
Bush has been talking about these ideas since his first year in
office. Proposals aimed at spreading the use of ethanol, hydrogen
and renewable fuels all were part of the energy bill that he signed
into law in August, but that hasn`t eased Americans` worries about
high fuel prices.
Americans were hit with the biggest jump in energy prices in 15
years in 2005, and worries about the cost of gas and heating oil
have damped spirits about the economy despite other recent
Add in the unrest in the Middle East, and energy becomes a major
problem for the president to address Tuesday night.
"I agree with Americans who understand being hooked on foreign oil
as an economic problem and a national security problem," Bush said
in a recent interview with CBS.
Eight in 10 Americans surveyed earlier this month by the Pew
Research Center for the People & the Press said gasoline prices
were a big problem.
Home heating fuel and health care were the other major economic
concerns. It`s not a coincidence that Bush will spend much of his
State of the Union reassuring Americans that he has a plan to
address energy and medical costs.
House Democrats sought to take the luster off Bush`s speech with a
television commercial that accuses the president and Republicans of
tilting their policies toward the pharmaceutical, oil and
investment industries. It shows lawmakers cheering Bush`s words
from three previous State of the Union addresses, and asks: "What
Special Interest Will the Republican Congress Rubberstamp This
Officials said the commercial would air only once, on Fox, in the
run-up to Bush`s speech, making it more like a guerilla-style
attack on the GOP than an attempt to mold public opinion.
Bush told CBS that he does not support a big raise in the gas tax,
as others have proposed. Instead, he is looking for tax breaks that
encourage new technologies, which is popular with farmers, with
industry and with consumers of those products.
"We have got to wean ourselves off hydrocarbons, oil," Bush
explained. "And the best way, in my judgment, to do it is to
promote and actively advance new technologies so that we can drive
— have different driving habits."
For example, he said, the federal government could push more
widespread use of corn-based ethanol and spur production from other
Almost all ethanol produced now comes from corn. Although non-corn
ethanol from sources like grasses, wood chips and even garbage is
widely talked about, a practical and cost-effective process for
producing it appears years away.
Bush noted to CBS that about 4.6 million cars on the road in the
United States can run on ethanol. The fuel works in more than 30
models, including General Motor`s Yukon, Chevrolet`s Silverado and
Ford`s Taurus. However, almost all drivers of those vehicles
outside the Corn Belt fill up with gasoline.
Automakers and environmentalists are also excited about the
prospect of fuel cells, which would run on hydrogen that would only
emit water instead of gas fumes. But fuel cell vehicles are
extremely expensive to produce and lack an infrastructure of
fueling stations to make them viable. The government has said it
hopes hydrogen fuel cell vehicles will be available in car
showrooms by 2020.
When it comes to alternative ways to power homes and businesses,
very little U.S. electricity now comes from renewables such as
wind, solar, geothermal, wood and waste. But that share is expected
to increase as the price of fossil fuel rises.
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