Industry, legislators mixed on Bush energy proposals

US President George Bush, during his State of the Union address on Tuesday, spoke at length about America’s dependence on foreign oil and how that dependency affects national policy, international economics and the energy industry.
Industry, legislators mixed on Bush energy proposals Industry, legislators mixed on Bush energy proposals Industry, legislators mixed on Bush energy proposals Industry, legislators mixed on Bush energy proposals Industry, legislators mixed on Bush energy proposals

US President George Bush

Donna Schmidt

In stating that the resources exist to lessen the impact of foreign oil Bush said: “Government has got to be more than just talkers, we’ve got to be problem-solvers. That’s what the American people expect us to do.”

Bush went on to say that clean coal technology was one of the chief ways to decrease the dependence on oil as a fossil fuel.

“We’re spending a lot of your money on clean coal technology,” he said.

“The reason why is we’ve got a lot of coal.” The key, he said, was to use coal in such a way that it didn’t further endanger the environment.

National Mining Association president and CEO Kraig Naasz issued a statement Wednesday that praised the president for his remarks.

“The National Mining Association commends President Bush for highlighting the important role alternative fuels, including coal-to-liquid (CTL) transportation fuels technology, can and should play in increasing the nation’s energy security.”

Others, while generally agreeing with Bush on the country’s need to diversify away from oil-based fuels, felt that he didn’t go far enough. US Representative Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania said: “Coal could be turned into an alternate fuel source to produce gasoline. I was disappointed he didn’t focus on this more.”

Representative John Murtha, also of Pennsylvania and a staunch Bush critic, was disappointed in the lack of details in the president’s address. “He still has no viable solution to the energy crisis or how he plans to attain energy independence,” he said.

Most opposed was Greenpeace’s John Passacantando, who said Bush “failed to deliver” on global warning solutions.

“Instead of creating a real national plan to combat global warming and increase energy security, the president has ensured his legacy while continuing to represent the interest of the energy industry,” Passacantando said.

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