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Thread: Bush Fears Cheap Petrol Could "Make Us Complacent"

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2005

    Bush Fears Cheap Petrol Could "Make Us Complacent"

    Bush fears cheap petrol could ‘make us complacent’

    (Gold9472: Don't worry George. After the elections it won't be so cheap anymore.)

    13 October 2006

    WASHINGTON - The falling price of oil has boosted US consumer confidence, sparked a Wall Street rally and rescued US President George W Bush’s approval ratings.

    But with US petrol prices down about 30 per cent since mid-summer peaks, Bush himself expressed concern Thursday that the falling fuel costs could dull the market forces that contributed to a surge of interest in conservation and alternative energy sources.

    Speaking to a meeting on renewable energy in St Louis, Missouri, Bush hailed the savings at the petrol pump for truck drivers, small businesses and average consumers.

    ‘Gasoline prices are down, and that’s good news,’ he said.

    ‘My worry is, however, that a low price of gasoline will make us complacent about our future when it comes to energy. Because I fully understand that energy is going to help determine whether or not this nation remains the economic leader in the world.’

    Bush warned that dependence on imported oil is both an economic issue and a national security risk, and now-cheaper petrol ‘may mask that concern.’

    The three-day conference, Advancing Renewable Energy: An American Rural Renaissance, attracted scientists and business people from the alternative energy sector, particularly bio-fuels. The stated goal was to speed commercial applications of renewable energy sources.

    Two members of Bush’s cabinet attended: Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman and Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, whose departments co- organized the event.

    The heavy participation by the US Department of Agriculture illustrated what many Bush critics consider the federal government’s overemphasis on ethanol fuel produced from maize.

    America’s influential maize farmers, clustered in the political swing states of the Midwest, and major agricultural processing industries have protected and expanded generous subsidies for ethanol fuel since the early 1980s.

    Many environmental scientists argue that ethanol processing is relatively inefficient at converting grain to energy, compared to other bio-fuels. But those competing technologies have yet to reach commercial fruition in the face of ethanol’s subsidies, which dwarf federal subsidies for other energy alternatives.

    A tariff of more than 15.4 cents per litre on imported ethanol - which especially hits cheaper Brazilian fuel fermented from sugar cane - also protects US ethanol from foreign competition.

    A report released Wednesday in Washington by the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an influential think tank, reinforced Bush’s fears about the cost of petrol.

    ‘The high price of oil is a strong incentive to the private sector to make the investments needed to develop and deploy new technologies,’ a CFR task force on energy and US foreign policy wrote.

    ‘Just in the past two years, hundreds of start-up companies have been founded in areas from biofuels to batteries. In addition, large oil and chemical companies have launched development projects on biomass, shale and coAl to-liquids. Research activity has increased dramatically in the nation’s universities and laboratories.’

    In St Louis, a heckler tried to underline the nexus between national security and energy policy when she started shouting during Bush’s speech, the St Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper reported on its website.

    ‘Our troops are not renewable,’ she shouted before being removed from the hall.

    CFR’s report argued that fully developing new energy technologies requires federal government participation, because private investment alone could not reflect the national interest in energy policy.

    Research and development by the Department of Energy and other government agencies remains ‘fragmented, unfocused and tries to be all things to all people,’ the report said.

    Bush pointed out that his government has spent 10 billion dollars on alternative energy research since 2001.

    ‘We’re doing fine now. We got a really strong economy. And in order to make sure it’s strong tomorrow, we need to make sure we work on how we use energy,’ he said.

    ‘Look, let me just put it bluntly: We’re too dependent on oil,’ Bush said to applause.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #2
    beltman713 Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by Gold9472
    (Gold9472: Don't worry George. After the elections it won't be so cheap anymore.)
    That's what I've been telling everyone.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Quote Originally Posted by beltman713
    That's what I've been telling everyone.
    You're talking to the choir...
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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