On Monday President Bush met with automakers and praised ethanol and biodiesel, while trying to drum up support for his energy plan. He called on automakers to double their production of flex fuel vehicles. While sharing the stage with CEO’s of the Big 3 U. S. automakers Bush said, “I found it very interesting that by 2012, 50 percent of the automobiles in America will be flex-fuel vehicles. That means that the American consumer will be able to either use gasoline or ethanol, depending upon, obviously, price and convenience.”

 “That’s a major technological breakthrough for the country. If you want to reduce gasoline usage, like I believe we need to do so for national security reasons, as well as for environmental concerns, the consumer has got to be in a position to make a rational choice. And so I appreciate very much the fact that American automobile manufacturers recognize the reality of the world in which we live and are using new technologies to give the consumers different options,” Bush said

Bush’s stated goal is that he wants to reduce Americans gasoline consumption by 20% in 10 years. On Tuesday President Bush appeared at a Postal Service demonstration of their hybrid vehicles, “The reason I’ve come is I want the American people to understand that there are new technologies on the market that are being used every single day, but there’s more we can do. I’m looking forward to working with Congress to meet this goal. They need to pass meaningful energy legislation as soon as possible, all aiming at making sure that we promote technologies that, for the sake of our national security and for the sake of good environmental policy, we reduce the usage of gasoline.”

The president’s energy plan according to a press release plans to meet their 20 in 10 goal by looking for progress on two fronts. “On the demand side, the President has proposed reforming fuel economy standards to make cars more energy efficient, just like we did for light trucks. On the supply side, the President has proposed increasing the supply of alternative fuels by setting a mandatory fuels standard to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and other alternative fuels in 2017 – nearly five times the current target of 7.5 million gallons in 2012.” The President is a big supporter of E85 because it still is 85% gasoline, which is good for the oil business. His ideas for increasing alternative fuel supply, while increasing mileage standards are good.

I believe that he would have had a tougher time getting this through the GOP controlled Congress than he will with the Democrats. If anything, the Democrats are likely to take Bush’s ideas ever farther. They say timing is everything in politics, and one has to wonder how different things might be today if Bush would not have sat on his hands for five years, and let his buddies in big energy rape the American consumer. I think that Bush’s ideas would have been a good starting point in 2002, but they are too little too late, as we head into ’08.

White House Energy Fact Sheet

Transcript of Tuesday remarks

Transcript of Monday remarks

Jason Easley is the editor of the politics zone at 411mania.com.  His news column The Political Universe appears on Tuesdays and Fridays at www.411mania.com/politics

Jason can also be heard every Sunday afternoon at 1:30 pm (ET) as the host of The Political Universe Radio Show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/thepoliticaluniverse blog radio

 

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