Bush touts biofuels and his energy bill

With his approval ratings plunging due in part to high gas prices, President Bush is fighting back by … sniffing a hanky. Let us explain. Yesterday, Bush visited a biodiesel refinery in West Point, Va., to tout the alternative-fuel subsidies in his energy bill, which the Senate will begin considering this week. He praised biodiesel as a clean-burning fuel, even going so far as to closely inspect a handkerchief that had been held over a biodiesel exhaust pipe, noting that it “remained white.” He said dependence on foreign oil is “like a foreign tax on the American Dream,” adding that “every time we use homegrown biodiesel, we support American farmers, not foreign oil producers.” Virginia resident Phyllis Karhatsu was impressed: “He’s the type of person you can see as a father or a brother. He’s a great leader.” Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) was not: “No photo-op can hide the fact that the Bush energy plan gives 90 percent of its tax breaks to big oil and gas and other fossil fuels, and less than 10 percent to alternative sources of energy.”