Posted By RichC on March 29, 2006
The President has his work cut out for him in gaining national acceptance for a new US energy plan. Almost everyone is talking about energy these days, particularly oil since the barrel price has steadied in the mid- $60 per barrel range and gasoline at the pump is about $2.50/gallon nationally. (Wednesday, March 29, 2006, NYMEX West Texas Intermediate for May delivery closed up $0.38 at $66.45 per barrel.)
I happen to be a supporter of the President’s Advanced Energy Initiative and have hopes that our nation discusses and agrees on some kind of improved energy policy.
The President goal is, and actually has been, to reduce our use of fossil fuels, particularly foreign sources. (10 billion in alternative energy since 2001) One of the ways he outlines is through the use of technology and “the innovative spirit of America.” He proposes steps toward energy conservation, the repairing and modernizing our energy infrastructure, and is encouraging only increasing our energy supplies in ways that protect and improve the environment.
I believe too many on the environmental left do not factor in our countries financial soundness when they talk radical environmental change. Their deference to our national economy puts our country at risk. A sound environmental policy keeping the the economy growing is vital to national security for without reasonably prosperous conditions, the support of protecting the environment will surely take a back seat.
Back to energy — consider the President recognizes that the US spends more than half a billion dollars a day on imported oil, he has developed the Advanced Energy Initiative. Our country has been spending considerable amounts of tax dollars (billions) developing cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable alternative energy sources. Because of this, technology has now brought us far closer to being able to offset dirtier forms of energy as well as some imported oils. This new Initiative calls for even more billions, and has submitted a budget with a 22% increase in funding for clean-energy technology.
First, President Bush’s plan focuses on transportation. His plan intends to reduce our imported petroleum through technologies that “reduce oil use by improving efficiency, expansion of alternative fuels from homegrown biomass, and development of fuel cells that use hydrogen from domestic feedstocks.” Second, is how we use energy in our homes, offices and factories. Instead of relying on natural gas or electricity produced by natural gas, he intends promote generating more electricity from clean coal, pushing advanced nuclear power, and will encourage renewables like solar and wind.
It is easy to dislike the President for many things (depending on how your see his leadership), but he has supported a variety (keyword – variety) of alternatives that everyone might not always see eye-to-eye with. Ten billion dollars is significant and a 22% increase for that budget is the largest increase any President has proposed. His constant use of the bully pulpit is nothing to sneeze at either — he spent a considerable amount of time even during the State of the Union Address … some call it rhetoric, but that’s what President’s do when they push for their agenda. (most Presidents have done far less)
I recorded a little discussion on CNBC on ‘just one’ of the solutions (ethanol) that deals with our dependence on foreign oil … it was an interesting interview.