Bush calls climate change a ‘serious challenge’
Bush calls climate change a ‘serious challenge’
January 23, 2007
In his State of the Union Address Tuesday night, President Bush called climate change a “serious challenge” that needs to be met by reducing fossil fuel emissions. The president asked Americans to reduce their gasoline use by 20 percent over the next decade and called for increases in automobile fuel efficiency standards and use of alternative energy. Text from the speech appears below.
For too long our Nation has been dependent on foreign oil. And this dependence leaves us more vulnerable to hostile regimes, and to terrorists — who could cause huge disruptions of oil shipments … and raise the price of oil … and do great harm to our economy.
It is in our vital interest to diversify America’s energy supply — and the way forward is through technology. We must continue changing the way America generates electric power — by even greater use of clean coal technology … solar and wind energy … and clean, safe nuclear power. We need to press on with battery research for plug-in and hybrid vehicles, and expand the use of clean diesel vehicles and biodiesel fuel. We must continue investing in new methods of producing ethanol — using everything from wood chips, to grasses, to agricultural wastes.
We have made a lot of progress, thanks to good policies here in Washington and the strong response of the market. And now even more dramatic advances are within reach. Tonight, I ask Congress to join me in pursuing a great goal. Let us build on the work we have done and reduce gasoline usage in the United States by 20 percent in the next ten years — 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 Middle East.
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 this is nearly five times the current target. At the same time, we need to reform and modernize fuel economy standards for cars the way we did for light trucks — and conserve up to eight and a half billion more gallons of gasoline by 2017.
Achieving these ambitious goals will dramatically reduce our dependence on foreign oil, but it’s not going to eliminate it. So as we continue to diversify our fuel supply, we must also step up domestic oil production in environmentally sensitive ways. And to further protect America against severe disruptions to our oil supply, I ask Congress to double the current capacity of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
America is on the verge of technological breakthroughs that will enable us to live our lives less dependent on oil. And these technologies will help us be better stewards of the environment — and they will help us to confront the serious challenge of global climate change.
American industry jumps on global warming bandwagon. On the eve of President Bush’s State of the Union address, American industry is fast-jumping on the global warming bandwagon, according to an article in today’s issue of The Wall Street Journal. Yesterday the CEOs of 10 major corporations asked Congress to implement binding limits on greenhouse gases this year, arguing that voluntary efforts to fight climate change are inadequate.
Global warming cap to cost U.S. 0.26% of GDP says Energy Department. A proposed cap-and-trade system to curb U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions will cost the U.S. economy 0.26 percent of annual GDP according to a new study by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Agency (EIA). The EIA says that the plan would lead to higher energy prices including a 5 percent rise in the price of gasoline, an 8 percent climb in the price of heating-oil an 11 percent increase in the price of natural gas and electricity.
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions rise 0.6% in 2005 to new record. Emissions of heat-trapping gases, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, rose by 0.6 percent between 2004 and 2005 according to a new report from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the U.S. Department of Energy. Since 1990, such greenhouse gas emissions have climbed by 16.9 percent. The Kyoto Protocol calls for a 7 percent reduction in emissions levels below 1990 levels by 2012.
Election results means U.S. climate action likely by 2010. “Enactment of mandatory U.S. climate action is plausible by 2008, and likely by 2010,” says a new report from the Pew Center on Global Climate Change. The Pew Center, which brings together business leaders, policy makers, scientists, and other experts to discuss climate change, says that “the new Democratic congressional majority puts control of the agenda in the hands of policymakers who, to a large extent, favor climate action.”