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George W. Bush on Energy & Oil

President of the United States, Former Republican Governor (TX)


FactCheck: US grew more dependent on foreign oil under Bush

The President voiced a "goal" of replacing more than three-quarters "of our oil imports from the Middle East" by the year 2025. He did not mention that the US has grown more dependent on imported oil and petroleum products since he took office.

The US imported 60% of its oil and petroleum products during the first 11 months of last year, up from just under 53% in President Clinton's last year in office. Last year, of all the oil and petroleum products consumed in the US, 11.2% came from Persian

Source: Feb 1, 2006

Replace 75% of oil imports from Mideast by 2025

Breakthroughs in new technologies will help us reach a great goal: to replace more than 75 percent of our oil imports from the Middle East by 2025. By applying the talent and technology of America, this country can dramatically improve our environment, move beyond a petroleum-based economy, and make our dependence on Middle Eastern oil a thing of the past.
Source: 2006 State of the Union speech Jan 31, 2006

Safe nuclear energy & less dependence on foreign energy

To keep our economy growing, we also need reliable supplies of affordable, environmentally responsible energy. Nearly four years ago, I submitted a comprehensive energy strategy that encourages conservation, alternative sources, a modernized electricity grid, and more production here at home, including safe, clean nuclear energy. My Clear Skies legislation will cut power plant pollution and improve the health of our citizens. And my budget provides strong funding for leading-edge technology, from hydrogen-fueled cars to clean coal to renewable sources such as ethanol. Four years of debate is enough! I urge Congress to pass legislation that makes America more secure and less dependent on foreign energy.
Source: 2005 State of the Union Speech Feb 2, 2005

O'Neill: Industry overruled environment in energy taskforce

According to documents in O'Neill's files, along with those obtained in various disclosure actions filed against the Cheney task force, Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham met with corporations and trade groups, including Chevron, the National Mining Association, and the National Petrochemical and Refiners Association, each of which delivered policy recommendations in detailed reports. Cheney met with Enron chairman Kenneth Lay and received detailed policy recommendations from one industry group whose central concern was not allowing carbon dioxide to be regulated as a pollutant, as well as from another--called the Coal-Based Generation Stakeholders. If process drives outcomes--this combination of confidentiality and influence by powerful interested parties would define the task force's analysis of energy issues. "It meant," O'Neill says, "that environmental concerns went virtually unrepresented."
Source: The Price of Loyalty, by Ron Suskind, p.146-7 Jan 13, 2004

Energy plan is about reducing oil imports, not cheap energy

I once made the mistake of suggesting to Bush that he use the phrase cheap energy to describe the aims of his energy policy. He gave me a sharp, squinting look. Cheap energy, he answered, was how we got into this mess. Every year from the early 1970s until the mid-1990s, American cars burned less and less oil per mile traveled. Then in about 1995 that progress stopped. Why? He answered his own question: Because of the gas-guzzling SUV. And what had made the SUV craze possible? This time I answered, "Um, cheap energy?" He nodded at me. Dismissed.

But if Bush was no energy free-marketeer, neither did he share the crusading zeal of the environmental Left. For Bush, the point of energy conservation was not for Americans to USE less, but for Americans to IMPORT less. For him, energy was first and foremost a national security issue. He had warned in 2000, "As a result of our foreign oil imports skyrocketing, America is at the mercy more than ever of foreign governments and cartels."

Source: The Right Man, by David Frum, p. 65-66 Jun 1, 2003

Incentives for high-mileage cars, but drill for more oil

The problemThe Bush planOther choices
Soaring gasoline prices
  • Open new federal lands to oil exploration and drilling
  • Ease regulations on refineries and pipelines
  • Establish regional gasoline reserves to smooth out price spikes
  • Limit the types of summer gasoline blends
  • Investigate if oil companies are withholding supplies to bolster prices
  • Lift sanctions on Iraq, Iran, and Libya
  • Increasing dependence on foreign oil
  • Promote domestic on oil exploration, especially in ANWR
  • Provide tax incentives for the purchase of high-mileage cars
  • Mandate higher fuel efficiency standards for cars, trucks, and SUVs
  • Increase funding for gasoline-electric “hybrids” and hydrogen-powered cars
  • Diversify foreign supplies away from OPEC nations
  • Promote energy-sector reforms in Russia and the Caspian Sea region
  • Expand mass transit
  • Source: USA Today, p. 2A May 14, 2001

    More exploration, more nuclear, more energy research

    The problemThe Bush planOther choices
    Tighter natural gas supplies
  • Open new lands in the Rockies & Gulf of Mexico to oil exploration
  • Ease regulations on pipelines
  • Diversify electricity generation to fuel sources such as nuclear & coal
  • Construct a gas pipeline in Alaska
  • Open ocean coasts to gas exploration
  • Import more liquefied natural gas
  • Blackouts
  • Extend federal eminent domain rights to include power line right-of-ways
  • Streamline regulations on new power plants
  • Federal aid for upgrading & relicensing nuclear power plants
  • Fund clean-coal research
  • New efficiency standards on TVs, radios, & other appliances
  • Cap wholesale power costs in California
  • Fund research into alternative power sources
  • Connect regional electrical grids into a national power grid
  • Deregulate electricity nationally
  • Promote electricity conservation
  • Source: USA Today, p. 2A May 14, 2001

    Make Amtrak more efficient and competitive

    Q: Should the federal government be spending more to help Amtrak expand intercity rail travel and develop high-speed corridors??

    A: Our national railroad network is a crucial component of our public transportation system. I support a healthy intercity passenger rail system. I support current efforts to make Amtrak more efficient and competitive. I believe these efforts will result in better, more extensive and more reliant rail service for the millions of Americans who travel by train.

    Source: Associated Press Sep 17, 2000

    Natural gas is hemispheric; find it in our own neighborhood

    Bush has not been much more precise about his plans than he was in the first presidential candidates’ debate in October, when he mentioned the need for “a hemispheric energy policy where Canada and Mexico and the United States come together.” Bush has said, “Natural gas is hemispheric. I like to call it hemispheric in nature because it is a product that we can find in our neighborhoods.”

    When the electric power squeeze hit California last month, he said, “The quickest way to have impact on the energy situation is for us to work with Mexico, and a certain extent Canada, to build a policy for the hemisphere.“ Last week, he said, ”We need more product, and it doesn’t matter where the product comes from.“ Mexico has plenty of natural gas and oil in the ground but lacks the technology and money to exploit them fully. Mexico’s president says he welcomes foreign investment, but first he must persuade Mexico’s Congress to allow a mix of public ownership and private development in energy production.

    Source: Tim Weiner, NY Times Feb 13, 2001

    Clarify rules to allow for more nuclear power generation

    Q: Should the US increase its use of nuclear power as part of a strategy to come closer to energy independence?

    A: Nuclear power plays an important role in meeting the energy needs of the New Economy, supplying over 20% of electricity consumed. As part of my energy policy, I would clarify IRS rules to make it easier for companies that specialize in operating nuclear power plants to purchase them from companies that do not. My overall energy policy also includes using diplomatic leverage, working with our allies, OPEC, and other oil-producing countries to ensure greater stability in world oil markets. I will also encourage greater exploration at home including opening the ANWR up to environmentally responsible exploration. We must also develop our natural gas resources, which are clean-burning and hemispheric in nature, not subject to whims of OPEC. I will also promote renewable sources of energy as part of my agenda because the New Economy is very electric-intensive.

    Source: Associated Press Oct 16, 2000

    Better to drill ANWR than import oil from Saddam Hussein

    GORE (to Bush): Gov.Bush is proposing to open up some of our most precious environmental treasures, like the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to the big oil companies to go in and start producing oil there. I think that is the wrong choice. It would only give us a few months worth of oil, and the oil wouldn’t start flowing for many years into the future. I don’t think it’s a fair price to pay, to destroy precious parts of America’s environment.

    BUSH: We need an active exploration program in America. The only way to become less dependent on foreign sources of crude oil is to explore at home. And you bet I want to open up a small part of Alaska because when that field is online, it will produce a million barrels a day. Today we import a million barrels from Saddam Hussein. I would rather that a million come from our own hemisphere, our own country, as opposed from Saddam Hussein.

    Source: Presidential debate, Boston MA Oct 3, 2000

    Replenish energy supplies with new domestic coal & pipelines

    Q: What is your energy policy?

    GORE [to Bush]: We have to free ourselves from big oil, from OPEC. We have to give new incentives for the development of resources, like deep gas in the western Gulf, but also renewable sources of energy and domestic sources that are cleaner and better. I’m proposing a plan that will give tax incentives for the rapid development of new kinds of cars, trucks, buses, factories, boilers, and furnaces that don’t have as much pollution.

    BUSH: I want to build pipelines to move natural gas. I want to develop coal resources. It’s an issue I know a lot about. I was a small oil person for a while. This is an administration that’s had no plan. And now, the results of having no plan have caught up with America. We’ve got abundant supplies of energy here, and we better start exploring it. There’s an interesting issue up in the Northwest, as well. And that is whether or not we remove dams that propose hydroelectric energy. I’m against removing dams in the Northwest.

    Source: (X-ref Gore) Presidential debate, Boston MA Oct 3, 2000

    Use ANWR fees for alternative energy and home oil help

    [Under Bush’s plan for drilling the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge], the federal government would get up-front fees from oil companies that wanted to bid to explore the refuge, and eventually get royalties from oil and gas that was found. Bush said he would direct part of this money to the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program-perhaps as much as $1 billion over 10 years, Bush said. We would also start a Royalties for Conservation Fund, which would use money from Arctic drilling to “protect the environment and develop alternative energy sources,” including wind and solar power. He said that could total $1.2 billion over 10 years.

    The energy proposals offered by Bush today, some of which are new and some of which he had unveiled earlier, total $7.1 billion over 10 years. Of that, $3.1 billion would come from new revenue, including royalties and bid fees.

    Source: Mike Allen, Washington Post, p. A7 Oct 1, 2000

    Look for oil in US rather than tap into emergency reserves

    Bush assailed Gore’s suggestion as “bad public policy,” and accused the vice president of trying to manipulate a national strategic asset for political purposes. The reserves are “an insurance policy meant for sudden disruptions of the oil supply. It should not be used for political gain at the expense of national security.” Rather, plans must be implemented to make the United States less dependent on oil imports. “I would like to aggressively explore our own continent for oil and natural gas.”
    Source: CNN.com Sep 21, 2000

    Remove federal impediments to states’ clean energy

    Q: What would you do to promote the use of cleaner energy?

    A: I would remove federal impediments, such as unclear jurisdiction over who is responsible for grid reliability, to help states be able to deregulate their electric industries effectively. This way states’ green power can be identified and rewarded. As governor, I presided over an electric deregulation bill that brings competition to Texas residents, makes mandatory emissions reductions from older power plants, and calls for 2,000 megawatts of new renewable energy by 2009, making Texas the largest market for renewable energy in the country. The Environmental Defense Fund calls this Texas law ‘the strongest in the nation.“‘

    Source: Associated Press Sep 12, 2000

    Explore ANWR; explore for gas; reduce foreign dependence

    Our country better become less dependent on foreign crude, that’s why I’m for the exploration of ANWR, that’s why I’m for the exploration of natural gas, which is hemispheric. It’s not subject to price. In the meantime, I support the congressional attempt to fund LIHEAP, which is that low-income heating assistance program.
    Source: GOP Debate in Manchester NH Jan 26, 2000

    Wean from oil, via electric deregulation & natural gas

    I did something in Texas and that’s decontrol our electricity system, to invite a different type of demand into the equation into Texas. In other words, you’re focusing on the supply side, I think we need to wean ourselves off of foreign oil and rely upon other products and in my state of Texas we’re doing that. We’ve got a huge demand for natural gas, which as you know is immune from OPEC and immune from overseas pricing controls.
    Source: Phoenix Arizona GOP Debate Dec 7, 1999


    George W. Bush on Global Warming

    The Kyoto Treaty would have cost America a lot of jobs

    BUSH: Had we joined the Kyoto Treaty it would have cost America a lot of jobs. It's one of these deals where in order to be popular in the halls of Europe you sign a treaty. There's a better way to do it. The quality of air is cleaner since I've been the president of the US. And we'll continue to spend money on research and development, because I truly believe that's the way to get from how we live today to being able to live a standard of living that we're accustomed to and being able to protect our environment better, the use of technologies.

    KERRY: The Kyoto Treaty was flawed. I was in Kyoto and I was part of that; I know what happened. But Bush didn't try to fix it, he just declared it dead, ladies and gentlemen. And we walked away from the work of 160 nations over 10 years. You wonder why it is that people don't like us in some parts of the world. You just say, Hey, we don't agree with you, good-bye. Bush's done nothing to try to fix it. I will.

    Source: Second Bush-Kerry Debate, in St. Louis MO Oct 8, 2004

    Kyoto Treaty is the "emperor with no clothes"

    [Under the Kyoto Protocol], the United States was supposed to reduce emissions by 7% below 1990 levels, while developing countries like India, Mexico, and China were exempted. Clinton gave lip service to the treaty and had signed it, but didn't dare submit it to congress for ratification. He knew it would never pass.

    Bush would have none of that. If there was anything he hated, it was charades. He forthrightly announced he would not support the treaty and would instead devote funds to study how to reduce global warming through less drastic measures, including building more environmentally friendly vehicles.

    "The emperor Kyoto was running around for a long time, and he was naked," Andy Card said. "It took President Bush to say, 'The guy doesn't have any clothes on.'" European nations, in particular, were incensed that Bush rejected the Kyoto treaty. The French environment minister called it a "scandal." Yet none of those countries had agreed to honor the treaty.

    Source: A Matter of Character, by Ronald Kessler, p.119-21 Aug 5, 2004

    $1.7 billion program will make hydrogen cars common by 2020

    Bush is proposing a total of $1.7 billion over the next five years to develop hydrogen-powered fuel cells, hydrogen infrastructure and advanced automotive technologies. Through partnerships with the private sector, the hydrogen fuel initiative and FreedomCAR will make it practical for Americans to use hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2020. This will dramatically improve America's energy security by reducing the need for imported oil.
    Source: White House Press Release Jan 28, 2004

    Energy production overrules CO2 emissions

    The President's letter mentioned a new report that showed how caps on carbon dioxide emissions would lead to an even more dramatic shift from coal to natural gas for electric power generation and significantly higher electricity prices. With the California energy shortage & other states worried about prices and availability this summer, we just can't harm consumers. Kyoto was dead. Plans to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from power plants were abandoned. Energy production is all that matters.
    Source: The Price of Loyalty, by Ron Suskind, p.121-123 Jan 13, 2004

    $1.2B to develop hydrogen fuel via private partnerships

    In his State of the Union address, President Bush announced a $1.2 billion hydrogen fuel initiative to reverse the nation's growing dependence on foreign oil by developing the technology for hydrogen-powered fuel cells to power cars, trucks, homes and businesses with no pollution or greenhouse gases. Through partnerships with the private sector, the hydrogen fuel initiative and FreedomCAR will make it practical and affordable for Americans to choose to use clean, hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2020.
    Source: Campaign website, www.georgewbush.com Aug 30, 2003

    Reduce greenhouse gas intensity by 18% over next decade

    President Bush has committed America to an aggressive strategy to meet the challenge of long-term global climate change by reducing the greenhouse gas intensity of our economy by 18 percent over the next 10 years.
    Source: Campaign website, www.georgewbush.com Aug 30, 2003

    Rejected CO2 trading permits as solution to global warming

    While Bush disdained Kyoto, he could never quite bring himself to deny that climate change was very likely real & man-made. When he repudiated Kyoto [in March 2001], he promised to produce a climate change policy of his own.

    The green-green-lima-beans (as Bush called the enviros) had prevailed. Bush handed responsibility for the climate change brief to two midlevel aides who were absolutely convinced that the lima-beans had it right. They cobbled together an ambitious program of controls and trading permits intended to lower American carbon dioxide emissions by almost as much as Kyoto demanded, without international supervision or payoffs to foreign entities.

    Their policy was tossed aside, their [proposed] speech was ripped to shreds, and a new one was hastily cobbled together that promised to take the issue seriously-and study it some more. [A press leak described them as] "a contingent of greens inside the administration, pressing the president to look more and more like Al Gore."

    Source: The Right Man, by David Frum, p. 70-71 Jun 1, 2003

    Solution to global warming is safe & clean nuclear power

    The press interpreted Bush's commitment to further study on climate change as a commitment to do nothing at all. But Bush had a climate change agenda: safe and clean nuclear power. Nuclear power emits no greenhouse gases at all, and yet the US had not brought a new nuclear power plant on-line in nearly 20 years. As the capacity of America's existing nuclear plants maxed out, electrical utilities burned more and more coal, the dirtiest fuel of them all.

    Bush believed that technological problems demanded ultratechnological solutions. Again and again, in public and in private, he observed longingly that while the US obtained only 20% of its power from nukes, France obtained 80%. If the US could catch even halfway up to France, it could overfulfill its Kyoto commitments-without changing the American way of life at all.

    The most daunting problem was waste disposal. Bush gave the order: The waste would go to Yucca Mountain. The US nuclear industry could grow again.

    Source: The Right Man, by David Frum, p. 71-73 Jun 1, 2003

    Abandons campaign pledge to reduce CO2 emissions

    Responding to President Bush’s decision not to support regulating carbon dioxide emissions from power plants, US and European environmentalists said yesterday that one of his main arguments has been debunked. Bush said he would not seek to regulate so-called greenhouse gas because, in part, the Clean Air Act does not consider carbon dioxide a pollutant.

    Environmentalists said Bush had ignored a finding by more than 3,000 international scientists who concurred that the gas is one of the main causes of global warming. Last week, satellite data showed evidence that greenhouse gases were indeed building up in the Earth’s atmosphere.

    In New England, Bush’s abandonment of the campaign pledge to propose regulating carbon dioxide emissions probably will have limited impact, because the region is less dependent than elsewhere on power plants fired by coal or oil. Administration officials said Bush had made a mistake in the campaign by promising to regulate carbon dioxide.

    Source: Beth Daley & Robert Schlesinger, Boston Globe, p. 3 Mar 15, 2001

    CO2 is not a pollutant under CAA; no emission caps

    I oppose the Kyoto Protocol because it exempts 80% of the world from compliance, and would cause serious harm to the US economy. The Senate’s vote, 95-0, shows that there is a clear consensus that the Kyoto Protocol is an unfair and ineffective means of addressing global climate change concerns.

    I support a comprehensive and balanced national energy policy. I do not believe, however, that the government should impose on power plants mandatory emissions reductions for carbon dioxide, which is not a “pollutant” under the Clean Air Act. Including caps on carbon dioxide emissions as part of a multiple emissions strategy would lead to an even more dramatic shift from coal to natural gas for electric power generation and significantly higher electricity prices. This is especially true given the incomplete state of scientific knowledge of the causes of, and solutions to, global climate change and the lack of commercially available technologies for removing and storing carbon dioxide.

    Source: Press Release, “Letter to Senators Hagel, Helms, et al.” Feb 13, 2001

    Scientists are unsure about global warming

    Q: What about global warming?

    BUSH: It’s an issue that we need to take very seriously. I don’t think we know the solution to global warming yet and I don’t think we’ve got all the facts before we make decisions.

    GORE: But I disagree that we don’t know the cause of global warming. I think that we do. It’s pollution, carbon dioxide and other chemicals that are even more potent. Look, the world’s temperatures going up, weather patterns are changing, storms are getting more violent and unpredictable. And what are we going to tell our children?

    BUSH: Yeah, I agree. Some of the scientists, I believe, haven’t they been changing their opinion a little bit on global warming? There’s a lot of differing opinions and before we react I think it’s best to have the full accounting, full understanding of what’s taking place.

    Source: Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000

    Kyoto Treaty puts too much burden on US

    Q: What about global warming?

    BUSH: It’s an issue that we need to take very seriously. But I’m not going to let the US carry the burden for cleaning up the world’s air, like the Kyoto treaty would have done. China and India were exempted from that treaty.

    Q: The Senate did turn it down.

    BUSH: 99 to nothing.

    GORE: A lot of supporters of the Kyoto treaty actually ended up voting for that because of the way it was worded, but there’s no doubt there’s a lot of opposition to it in the Senate.

    Source: Presidential Debate at Wake Forest University Oct 11, 2000

    Opposes Kyoto treaty, ESA, & other intrusive regulations

    Bush opposes an agreement signed in Kyoto, Japan, that establishes emission targets for industrial nations. In the past he has criticized federal regulation, particularly when he regards it as too intrusive. In his 1994 campaign for governor, he lashed out against the Endangered Species Act as overly intrusive on landowners.
    Source: New York Times, p. A20 Nov 9, 1999

    Voluntary partnerships reduce greenhouse gases economically.

    Bush adopted the National Governors Association policy:

    Source: NGA policy NR-11, Global Climate Change Domestic Policy 00-NGA3 on Aug 15, 2000

    Kyoto Treaty must include reductions by all countries.

    Bush adopted the National Governors Association policy:

    If appropriate international commitments are established and are ratified by the US, the Governors believe implementation should be allowed to be achieved through cost-effective market-based activities, which account for scientifically verifiable and accountable reductions in greenhouse gas levels regardless of where the reductions are achieved. Any multinational emissions trading program must provide a flexible and workable framework that takes full advantage of market forces and maximizes international participation.
    Source: NGA policy NR-11, Climate Change International Policy 00-NGA4 on Aug 15, 2000

    Other candidates on Energy & Oil: George W. Bush on other issues:
    George W. Bush
    Dick Cheney
    John Edwards
    John Kerry

    Third Party Candidates:
    Michael Baradnik
    Peter Camejo
    David Cobb
    Ralph Nader
    Michael Peroutka

    Democratic Primaries:
    Carol Moseley Braun
    Wesley Clark
    Howard Dean
    Dick Gephardt
    Bob Graham
    Dennis Kucinich
    Joe Lieberman
    Al Sharpton
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    Energy/Oil
    Environment
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    Govt. Reform
    Gun Control
    Health Care
    Homeland Security
    Immigration
    Infrastructure/Technology
    Jobs
    Principles/Values
    Social Security
    Tax Reform
    War/Iraq/Mideast
    Welfare/Poverty
    Adv: Avi Green for State Rep Middlesex 26, Somerville & Cambridge Massachusetts