In SOTU speech, Bush decries oil addiction, promises half-measures

Those expecting bold, groundbreaking environmental policy from President Bush’s fifth State of the Union address were, uh, deluded. The big “news” is Bush’s stark declaration that “America is addicted to oil.” Though he’s made remarks about dependence on “foreign oil” in every SOTU he’s delivered, this was his most blunt acknowledgement of America’s energy dilemma. But Bush’s policy response — the “Advanced Energy Initiative,” a set of relatively modest subsidies for “clean coal,” nuclear, ethanol, solar, and wind — feel short of historical, to say the least. Notably lacking in the speech were the phrases “global warming” and “Hurricane Katrina,” though the latter was obliquely referred to as a “natural disaster” several times, an assurance to critics that the devastated Gulf Coast is nature’s fault, not Bush’s.