President Bush’s latest spending plan is unlikely to substantially reduce US oil consumption in the short term because it slashes $100 million from federal programs promoting conservation and falls short of the commitment in last year’s energy bill to make vast new investments in renewable and emerging technologies, like hydrogen fuel and solar power.
I can hardly bear to discuss the rest of this story — though it is an excellent piece of reporting. You should read it.
To summarize: Bush’s budget is de-funding and de-emphasizing energy conservation, very much deliberately ("Craig Stevens, a Department of Energy spokesman, said the White House’s emphasis on new energy sources over conservation reflects the department’s current priorities."). Renewables are getting less money even than they were promised in last year’s energy bill. Most of the money for renewables is devoted to nuclear, specifically a "$250 million Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, designed in part to encourage developing nations to build nuclear power plants." He’s increasing the Interior Department’s budget for oil drilling, and assuming revenues from drilling in the Arctic Refuge. And on and on.
Everything Bush said about energy in the SOTU was a farce. Nothing has changed.