In the annual State of the Union
address Tuesday night, President George W. Bush called for more widespread use
of biodiesel and ethanol, and for more clean-diesel vehicles in a policy that
includes reduced dependency on foreign oil.
Bush said the nation should
reduce its dependency on foreign oil and help curb global climate change.
"To reach this goal, we must
increase the supply of alternative fuels, by setting a mandatory fuels standard
to require 35 billion gallons of renewable and alternative fuels in 2017 - and
that is nearly five times the current target," Bush said.
The national goal set in 2005 was
for 7.5 billion gallons of alternative fuels produced by 2012.
Part of a decreased dependency on
foreign oil means asking the nation to reduce its consumption of gasoline by 20
percent based on projected consumption over the next 10 years, Bush said. That
amounts to a reduction of up to 8.5 billion gallons of gasoline by 2017.
"When we do that we will have cut
our total imports by the equivalent of three-quarters of all the oil we now
import from the
," Bush said.
The call for more alternative
fuel supplies pleased the National Biodiesel Board.
"We are glad to see that the
President's Twenty in Ten plan includes strong steps toward renewable energy,
energy conservation and diversification, and carbon reduction," National
Biodiesel Board CEO Joe Jobe said in a reaction statement. "We hope Congress
will work with the administration in a bipartisan way to enact this kind of
bold new energy policy for the good of all Americans."
Part of the president's goal is
to encourage technological advances in hybrid vehicles and clean diesel
"Achieving these ambitious goals
will dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but it's not going to
eliminate it," Bush said.
The president asked members of
the U.S. House and Senate to allow the doubling of the current capacity of the
Strategic Petroleum Reserve by tapping more domestic oil supplies.
Bush asked the Democratic
majority in the House and Senate for a commitment to his energy policy.
Sen. Jim Webb, D-VA, addressed
the ideas of reduced dependency on foreign oil in the official Democratic
response to the president's speech.
"We are looking for affirmative
solutions that will strengthen our nation by freeing us from our dependence on
foreign oil, and spurring a wave of entrepreneurial growth in the form of
alternate energy programs," Webb said, "We look forward to working with the
President and his party to bring about these changes."