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President Bush discusses ending US 'oil addiction' at energy panel

Agriculture.com Staff 02/21/2006 @ 2:51pm

As part of a two-day, three-state trip promoting the energy proposals he outlined in his recent State of the Union address, President Bush today attended a panel on energy conservation and efficiency at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

"I recognize that there has been some interesting -- let me say -- mixed signals when it comes to funding," Bush told the audience of NREL employees, referencing the laying off and subsequent government re-hiring of 32 workers there, just before his visit. "The issue, of course, is whether or not good intentions are met with actual dollars spent. Part of the issue we face, unfortunately, is that there are sometimes decisions made, but as a result of the appropriations process, the money may not end up where it was supposed to have gone."

Bush said he had come to discuss an ending to the country's addiction to oil.

"I know it sounds odd for a Texan to say that," he joked. Bush said he has concerns about oil coming from parts of the world "where people may not agree with our policy or our way of life," and since the demand is outpacing the supply, he said price disruptions and spikes "are like hidden taxes on the working people of our country."

President Bush said the first step is to make sure the US is the leader of technology in the world, in part by making a federal commitment to spend research dollars in basic sciences. "One thing that seems like a smart thing to do for me is to make the tax rules clear," he said. The research and development tax credit currently expires on an annual basis, which doesn't encourage investments from corporate America or the private sector, he said. Bush said making that tax credit a permanent part of the tax code is key.

As part of a two-day, three-state trip promoting the energy proposals he outlined in his recent State of the Union address, President Bush today attended a panel on energy conservation and efficiency at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado.

"We use a lot of oil for our transportation needs," Bush said. He suggested three ways the American people can make changes to reduce the oil consumed for that purpose:

President Bush also discussed technologies that could change the way Americans power their homes and businesses, which is the second part of the Advanced Energy Initiative Strategy.

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