Bush urges more commitment for renewable fuels

29 January 2008 03:55  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS news)--President George Bush on Monday called for continued investment in renewable fuels, tax breaks to shore up the US housing market, and a new international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.


In his eighth and final State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress, Bush urged greater cooperation between majority Democrats and Republicans in the House and Senate to reinvigorate the American economy.


“Our economy is under a period of uncertainty,” Bush said.  “Jobs are growing at a slower pace, prices are increasing for food and gasoline.  Our exports are up but housing is declining, and in many households there is concern about our future.”


Bush said that US economic fundamentals support long-term confidence, “but in the short term we see that growth is slowing”.


Referring to an agreement reached last week between the White House and Democrat leaders in Congress on the broad terms of an economic stimulus plan, Bush urged the House and Senate to “pass this stimulus package as soon as possible”.


On energy, Bush said Congress must allow American researchers and entrepreneurs to develop clean energy technology.  “Our security, prosperity and environment require that we reduce our dependence on oil,” Bush said.


Noting that Congress late last year approved a broad new programme for renewable fuels and energy efficiencies, he said:  “Let’s take the next step and fund new technology for clean coal power while capturing carbon emissions, and let us expand emissions-free nuclear power and continue our investments in renewable fuels.”


On the environment, Bush again called for a new international agreement to “slow, stop and reverse the growth of emissions of greenhouse gases”.  The White House has proposed an alternative emissions control plan instead of the Kyoto Treaty, which the US Congress and the Bush administration have long rejected.


Bush said an international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions “can only work if there is a commitment by every major economy, and the agreement gives none a free ride”.


In a speech that focused heavily on the war on terror and US operations in Iraq and opposition to Iran, Bush also called for congressional action to renew or extend his earlier education reforms and tax cuts.

By: Joe Kamalick
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