Addressing attendees of the National Small Business
Conference, President Bush on April 27 urged Congress to act on an energy plan
that will focus on increasing energy production in America while decreasing our
dependence on foreign energy sources.
“Our dependence on foreign energy is like a tax on the
American people,” he said. “It’s a tax our citizens pay every day in higher
gasoline prices and higher costs to heat and cool their homes.”
Bush called for a loosening of restrictions to allow the
construction of more nuclear power plants as well as oil refineries in the
United States. He said he wants the United States to start building nuclear
plants by 2010, and to open up unused government lands – such as military bases
– for the construction of new oil refineries.
“Technology has allowed us to better control emissions and
improve the efficiency and environmental performance of our existing
refineries,” he said. “Yet there have been no new oil refineries built in the
United States since 1976. And existing refineries are running at full
The president also called for auto manufacturers to build a “new generation of modern, clean diesel cars and trucks.” He cited rules issued
by his administration that have called for the removal of more than 90 percent
of the sulfur in diesel fuel by 2010.
“Clean diesel technology will allow consumers to travel much
farther on each gallon of fuel, without the smoke and pollution of past diesel
engines,” he said.
Bush said he has proposed $2.5 million in tax credits over
10 years to encourage consumers to buy hybrid cars and trucks. He wants to
extend those credits to include clean diesel vehicles as well.
In addition, he said that ethanol and biodiesel are a big
part of his energy plan.
“This proposal would require fuel producers to include a
certain percentage of ethanol and biodiesel in their fuel and would increase
the amount of these renewables in our nation’s fuel supply,” he said.
Bush also restated his call for drilling for oil in the
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and called for the construction of a pipeline
to bring Alaskan natural gas to the rest of the United States.