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Pres. Bush Endorses Plug-In Hybrids as "amazing technological breakthroughs"--Complete Text
Feb 18, 2006 (From the CalCars-News archive)
This posting originally appeared at CalCars-News, our newsletter of breaking CalCars and plug-in hybrid news. View the original posting here.
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Apologies: the first time I sent this out, a few hours ago, titled "Pres. Bush Calls Ethanol/PHEVS 'amazing technological breakthrough..", I didn't stop to read the whole speech. In the Q&A of his speech at the Port of Tampa, he answers two questions at length and in a less scripted manner than the speech.

The Pres. will deliver a speech on the Advanced Energy Initiative Monday at Johnson Controls http://www.jci.comin Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Johnson is in a lithium-ion battery joint venture with French company SAFT, which produces the li-ion batteries in the DaimlerChrysler Sprinter PHEV prototype.)

Please comment not by replying to this message but at our Blog,­blogs/­power/­pres-bush-endorses-phevs-amazing-breakthrough­wh02171.htm REMARKS by President Bush at Republican Party of Florida Dinner From the Christian Communication Networks' Christian News Wire

Remarks by President Bush at Republican Party of Florida Dinner

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Florida, Feb. 17 /Christian Wire Service/ -- The following text is of remarks by President Bush at Republican Party of Florida dinner: 5:50 P.M. EST

We can become independent from oil from the Middle East. In order to remain a competitive nation, in order to remain a world leader, this country has got to use technology to get us off being hooked on oil. I know that may sound strange from a guy from Texas. (Laughter.) When I sit there and think about the world on a daily basis, I see what happens when there's instability in parts of the world from which we get our oil. Listen, we're close to some amazing technological breakthroughs that will enable us to drive automobiles fueled by ethanol, or have a plug-in hybrid battery that will make it much easier for you to use electricity when it comes to driving your cars.

Our party stands for innovation. Our party stands for change. And our party is going to stand for economic and national security by doing something about our dependence on Middle Eastern oil. (Applause.)­news/­releases/­2006/­02/­20060217-4.html
President Discusses Global War on Terror Following Briefing at CENTCOM
Port of Tampa
Tampa, Florida
1:26 P.M. EST

In order for us to be competitive and lead in the world, we've got to get -- we've got to get off of Middle Eastern oil. I know it shocks some of you to hear a Texan say, we're addicted to oil. And we are, and it's a problem. It's a problem. It's a national security problem, and it's an economic security problem to be reliant upon oil from parts of the world that may be unstable, or parts of the world that simply don't like us. And so the best way to deal with that is to continue to foster new technologies because of research and development that will enable us to use different fuels in our cars, for example.

There's Kennedy right there. Good to see you, Kennedy. The reason I thought of him is because he's from a part of the world that's growing a lot of crops that can be converted into energy. We're close. We're close to technological breakthroughs that will enable us to convert wood chips and sawgrass -- we already convert sugar, corn and soy -- into fuel. And think about that. If this technology comes true, which we believe it will, then pretty soon a President is going to say, we're growing a lot of crops and we're less dependent on Middle Eastern oil. There are 4.5 million cars today that are flex-fuel cars that can either run on gasoline or ethanol. In other words, the technology is available inside the automobile. And it's coming.

And we're making some great breakthroughs on battery technology. Next week I'm going to travel around the country going to some of the most innovative places around our country that are providing new technologies to enable us to become less dependent on oil, which will keep us a leader in the world.

Q Mr. President, you mentioned a trip next week to visit the sources of renewable additional technology to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. We have a not-so-renewable resource, which is our precious Florida coastline. And because of your great brother, we do have an unemployment rate of 3.3 percent. How can you work with us to protect our Florida shoreline with respect to offshore drilling?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, I made a commitment that nothing is going to happen within a hundred miles of this coastline, and I'm honoring the commitment. I don't care what people might be saying -- I guess maybe they quit saying it after the '04 campaign -- but it's a commitment that this government has -- at least my government has made, and I'm going to honor it. When we say a hundred miles off the coastline, we don't mean 99 miles or 89 miles, we mean a hundred miles. So rest easy.

Now, the thing about -- look, we've got to get off of hydrocarbons. We just do. And I'm a believer in nuclear power. (Applause.) I think it's a -- maybe some day, and I think we'll -- I'll figure out -- I'll find out how close we are when I visit with some of these solar technology people, but it's very likely that you'll become a little power generator in your own home, and that the excess power that you do not use you feed back in the grid. Hybrid batteries -- batteries for plug-in hybrid automobiles are pretty close, they tell me. And I'm going to see firsthand -- sometimes the President gets the cook's tour, I know it -- (laughter) -- but nevertheless, I'm going to see firsthand.

Now, what's interesting is, is that a lot of people in urban areas are not going to drive more than 30 miles a day. And so we're developing automobile engines that can run on electricity for 30 miles, and then if you go more, your gasoline kicks in. But it requires a battery that has got good storage capacity and is easy to recharge. It's coming.

And so there's a lot of technologies that are coming on the market, and we're spending money. And it's a good use of taxpayers' money, it seems like to me, in order to achieve some big objectives.

I'm going to India on March the 1st, around that period of time, and I believe that it's good policy for the United States to encourage these emerging economies to use clean energy, nuclear power, so as to help reduce demand for kind of non-renewables. And so I'm going to talk to them about development of a civilian nuclear power industry. They're telling me China has got about 34 plants on the market, which is good. But this expansion of nuclear power -- which is in our interests, by the way; it's in our interests because of the quality of the air, it's in our interests because it takes -- reduces demand, global demand -- is going to create another issue, and that is, what are we going to do with the spent fuel? This country doesn't reprocess spent fuel; we should. Reprocessing spent fuel means that we're able to continue to reuse the base material that went through the burn the first time in a plant, and reduce the amount that we have to then eventually store. And we chose not to do that in the late '70s because of proliferation concerns. I'm convinced we can work internationally to address those issues.

And so I'm just sharing with you -- we got a full strategy to help us make us less dependent on energy -- on foreign sources of energy.

Q And my question is, you've talked a lot about our addiction to oil today.You've also talked about advanced alternative fuel sources, in particular for household vehicles as a potential mitigant to that dilemma. But we have a very robust industrialized economy -- air, rail, shipping, trucking -- that has depended on oil, frankly, for generations to be successful and vibrant. So my question is, how do we maintain the most advanced industrialized economy on Earth, and actually reduce our dependency on oil going forward?

THE PRESIDENT:Well, I believe -- first of all, natural gas has driven a lot of our industrialized growth, as you know.And we are -- we need to have -- import liquified natural gas if we're going to be modern and stay competitive.

Listen, we're going to need oil. The question is, are we able to reduce dependency from certain parts of the world. And I think that by relieving pressure on how we drive our cars, we'll, in fact, help segments of our economy that are going to take a while to diversify away from hydrocarbons, I guess is the best kind of macro look.

Things don't happen instantly; I understand that. But, nevertheless, there are some practical ways that we can reduce our dependency, and it seems like to me the most practical way is to change automobiles, change how we drive.In the short-term, ethanol and hybrid batteries makes the most sense to me. It's the most practical way, and most economic way, to begin the reduction of dependency.

Now, listen, we've got a large fleet -- I told you, there's four-and-a-half flex-fuel cars [sic]. That's good, except there's about 200 million cars. And it takes a while for fleets to renew. And so things don't happen instantly, but they will happen quicker as we continue to press for innovation and technology.

Ultimately, I believe that we're going to be using hydrogen to power our automobiles. But that's 15 years down the -- for the technology to be applicable is 15 years down the road. And I guess what I'm not only -- I guess I am, what I'm telling you is that we see technological breakthroughs pretty darn quick when it comes to ethanol and hybrid batteries, which is a positive development for the people. And the interesting thing about ethanol is that the barriers to entry are pretty low, when it comes to manufacturing -- if the technology says that we can -- yields the capacity to convert switchgrasses and refuses to ethanol, once that technological breakthrough comes, the barriers to entry are pretty low when it comes to building the manufacturing capacity that converts raw material to ethanol. Much different from a big cracker refinery. And so that's positive. So we've got the car technology, hopefully have the breakthrough technology on fuel, and then the infrastructure will follow.

And so what I'm saying is, this is the most practical way to become less dependent on oil. And the economy will continue to function. But things are happening, by the way, in diesel. I don't know -- if any of you know something about trucking, you know that diesel, clean diesel engines are coming. We did a deal in my administration to work with diesel engine manufacturers to come up with a very low-emission engine that is now being applied in trucks, and it's going to make a difference -- on Caterpillar tractors. We're getting there, we're getting there.

Thanks for the question.

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