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Breaking our Oil Addiction
Alex Steffen, 31 Jan 06

Stranger things have have happened, I guess, but the NYT is reporting that Bush plans to use the State of the Union speech tonight to urge an end to America's oil "addiction":

"America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world," Mr. Bush plans to say. "The best way to break this addiction is through technology."

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"The best way to break this addiction is through technology."

Just a shameless way to try and legitimize nuclear power, which has nothing to do with oil. It's also pandering to the corn states with the pitch for ethanol.

Same old game.

Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 31 Jan 06

Hey, George!

Why not show us how serious you are about that by RAISING CAFE STANDARDS?

And REVOKE every single tax break that fossil fuel companies get for bringing in fuel from overseas. Give the tax breaks to alternative fuel companies.

Oh! Oh! I know! You're going to use this "addiction" rhetoric to push through MORE tax breaks and cut environmental standards on refineries . . . right? Yeah, I thought so. Putz.


Posted by: Stefan Jones on 31 Jan 06

"America's government is addicted to oil imported from unstable parts of the world. The best way to break this addiction is by importing it from stable parts of the world (like North Alaskan wildlife refuges)."

(Cynical bunch, aren't we? After 5 years, I can't think why!)

Still, I guess we *should* wait until we hear the actual speech in its entirety before commenting.

Posted by: Tony Fisk on 31 Jan 06

Well, we've learned he's down on human-animal hybrids. That will lose him the furry vote for sure.

Posted by: Stefan Jones on 31 Jan 06

Tom Freidman, on CBS News after the address, made an excellent point about Bush's 2025 date for weening off foreign oil being counterintuitive to the administration's goals of spreading democracy in those same distant shores. It is also the subject of his NY Times Select column today.

And as you know, the exact same debate is going on in the UK and Martin Wright of Green opines that windmills vs. nukes debate obscures the potential of micro generation and conservation. Couple it with the California Climate Change Center report that Jamais brought to light yesterday and the argument gets pretty strong.

Posted by: Will on 1 Feb 06

He should have thought of that back when the Cheney Energy Task Force was colluding with all the big oil executives.

Posted by: Aaron on 1 Feb 06

Here's the related text:

"Keeping America competitive requires affordable energy. And here we have a serious problem. America is addicted to oil, which is often imported from unstable parts of the world.

The best way to break this addiction is through technology. Since 2001, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper and more reliable alternative energy sources. And we are on the threshold of incredible advances. So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative, a 22 percent increase in clean-energy research at the Department of Energy to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies and clean, safe nuclear energy. [ From White House: Advanced Energy Initiative ]

We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We will also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn but from wood chips and stalks or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years.

Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal, to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment, move beyond a petroleum-based economy and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past."

Posted by: Alex Steffen on 1 Feb 06

Reality aside (talk is cheap). I just think it's wild that Bush is 'quoting' Vonnegut! (who was the first person, as far as I know, to talk about 'oil addiction' -- in one of his brilliant excursions 20 years ago)

(More recent version here:

Posted by: Gil Friend on 1 Feb 06

Reading and hearing the speech, especially that section, I found little that was very surprising. He just mentioned some results of policy that already exists, he mentioned something that was has been glaringly obvious to anyone who has been paying attention for the last 30 years, and he asked for a funding increase to some research programs at the DoE. As far as political theater goes, it wasn't Carter standing in the Oval Office with a sweater on.

The impression I got from the Democrat's response was something like, "Well, let's not wait for the Feds to figure it out. The cities and states can take their own initiatives on this. [And by the way, vote for us in '06!]"

Posted by: Pace Arko on 1 Feb 06

"Administration backs off Bush's vow to reduce Mideast oil imports
By Kevin G. Hall
Knight Ridder Newspapers

WASHINGTON - One day after President Bush vowed to reduce America's dependence on Middle East oil by cutting imports from there 75 percent by 2025, his energy secretary and national economic adviser said Wednesday that the president didn't mean it literally."

Like I said...

Posted by: Joseph Willemssen on 1 Feb 06

Awww, Joseph beat me to it.

BushCo are a bunch of weasels.

Posted by: Stefan Jones on 1 Feb 06

You still dont get it do you. Bush says exactly what he thinks. Then the handlers come around and freak out about it.

Bush thinks we can get that and his staff and likely others didnt want him to promise that large a change. I bet they didnt want him to use the term addiction either;/

Posted by: wintermane on 3 Feb 06



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