Our dependence on foreign oil is like a foreign tax on the American dream. And that tax is growing every year,” Bush said. “My administration is doing all we can to help ease the problem.”

Democrats say their proposal encouraging a 40 percent reduction in imports by 2025 – a figure they say represents more than 7.5 million barrels of oil a day – would send a strong signal about the nation’s intent without instituting requirements about how to reach that goal. Republican leaders said the goal could not be attained without steep increases in automotive fuel efficiency.

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“It’s clearly nothing that anybody could achieve,” said Senator Pete V. Domenici, Republican of New Mexico and the chairman of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

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