Tonight, Bush will unveil a splashy energy program.
It will have one of his patented Orwellian names: The Energy Strength and Independence Small Farmer 9/11 Protect American Children Act, now with Extra Freedom™!
It will have three parts:
- A big boost for
campaign contributingSafe, Clean© nuclear power, perhaps integrating and expanding on his recent reprocessing announcement (via Judith Lewis, check out the Union of Concerned Scientists press release on reprocessing);
- a big boost for hydrogen research (on that subject, see Technology Review);
- a big basket of subsidies for ethanol.
This will be packaged as an "alternative energy" proposal, along with a bushel of nationalism and xenophobia (foreign oil! foreign oil!), and will ultimately amount to little more than massive subsidies to friendly industries and constituencies.
So tonight, I announce the Advanced Energy Initiative — a 22-percent increase in clean-energy research — at the Department of Energy, to push for breakthroughs in two vital areas. To change how we power our homes and offices, we will invest more in zero-emission coal-fired plants, revolutionary solar and wind technologies, and clean, safe nuclear energy. (Applause.)
We must also change how we power our automobiles. We will increase our research in better batteries for hybrid and electric cars, and in pollution-free cars that run on hydrogen. We’ll also fund additional research in cutting-edge methods of producing ethanol, not just from corn, but from wood chips and stalks, or switch grass. Our goal is to make this new kind of ethanol practical and competitive within six years. (Applause.)
Breakthroughs on this and other new technologies will help us reach another great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. (Applause.)
Well, I could have done worse.