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 Home > News & Policies > March 2005

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
March 9, 2005

Fact Sheet: Securing Our Nation's Energy Future

Today's Presidential Action

  • The President today visited Battelle Memorial Institute in Columbus, Ohio, to view the energy technologies of the future and to reiterate his call for Congress to pass a sound national energy policy.
    • The President called on Congress to pass a comprehensive energy bill that meets four major objectives: promoting conservation and efficiency, increasing domestic production, diversifying the Nation s energy supply, and modernizing the Nation's energy infrastructure. These goals must be pursued while also upholding our responsibility to be good stewards of the environment.

    Background On The President's Energy Policy

    Since his first weeks in office, the passage of a comprehensive and balanced national energy policy has been a top priority for President Bush and his Administration. President Bush has reiterated his call for a comprehensive energy bill that includes the following key priorities:

    Use Technology To Increase Conservation And Energy Efficiency

    • Promote energy efficiency and conservation through new efficiency targets for the Federal government, increased funding for state efficiency programs, and new efficiency standards for consumer products.
    • Provide tax incentives to promote hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles, residential solar energy systems, combined heat and power projects, and electricity produced from alternative and renewable sources such as wind, solar, biomass, and landfill gas.
    • Authorize a wide range of energy technology research and development programs to develop energy efficient next-generation energy technologies.
    • Extend the scope of the Energy Star program, a government/industry partnership to promote energy efficient products.

    Ensure A Clean And Affordable Diversity Of Fuels For Our Future Electricity Supply

    • Expand the use of clean coal technology and enable a future for America s most abundant resource through the President's FutureGen Initiative and his 10-year Clean Coal Power Initiative which will reduce emissions and improve the efficiency of existing and new coal-based power plants.
    • Improve the hydroelectric re-licensing process while preserving environmental goals.
    • Ensure a future for nuclear power as a viable and emissions-free energy source by extending the Price-Anderson Act nuclear liability laws; modifying the treatment of nuclear decommissioning funds; and by constructing an environmentally safe permanent repository for spent nuclear fuel.

    Increase Domestic Energy Supplies And Protect The Environment

    • Allow environmentally responsible oil and gas development in ANWR. America must reduce its dependence on foreign sources of oil and natural gas by encouraging safe and clean exploration at home. Using the most advanced technologies, the environmentally responsible exploration and development of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) could provide up to 1 million barrels per day of oil for the Nation s energy security from less than 2,000 acres.
    • Increase the use of domestically produced ethanol and biodiesel as transportation fuel through a flexible national renewable fuel standard and credit trading system.
    • Increase production of fossil and renewable energy resources on Federal and Tribal lands, including measures to expedite permitting for new energy supply and siting of infrastructure.
    • Fill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to protect American consumers from potentially severe oil supply disruptions.

    Modernize And Expand Our Electricity Grid

    • Modernize our electricity grid by reforming outdated laws, promoting open access to the transmission grid, promoting regional planning and coordination, protecting consumers, and deploying new grid technologies.
    • Establish mandatory and enforceable reliability standards for electric utilities to lessen the likelihood of transmission grid failures and blackouts.
    • Expand investment in transmission and generation facilities by repealing the Public Utility Holding Company Act (PUHCA) and providing increased rates of return on new transmission investments.
    • Eliminate transmission bottlenecks by providing for last-resort Federal siting authority for high-priority transmission lines and expedite transmission permitting activities on Federal land.

    Increase Domestic Energy Supplies Through Advanced Alternative Technologies

    • Pursue the President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative to help reduce our dependence on foreign sources of oil by creating a new generation of hydrogen-powered vehicles.
    • Pursue the President's commitment to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER), a research and development program for producing energy from nuclear fusion.

    Strengthen Energy Security For All Americans

    • Reduce heating and cooling costs of low-income households by increasing funding for the Department of Energy s Weatherization Assistance Program.

    Background On Clear Skies

    President Bush has again called on Congress to pass Clear Skies legislation.

    Clear Skies Will Cut Pollution. The legislation mandates a dramatic and steady 70-percent cut in air pollution from power plants, including the first-ever national cap on mercury emissions:

    • Cuts sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions by 73 percent, from current emissions of 11 million tons to a cap of 4.5 million tons in 2010 and to 3 million tons in 2018.
    • Cuts emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 67 percent, from current emissions of 5 million tons to a cap of 2.1 million tons in 2008 and to 1.7 million tons in 2018.
    • Cuts mercury (Hg) emissions by 69 percent, from current emissions of 48 tons to a cap of 26 tons in 2010 and to 15 tons in 2018.

    Clear Skies Will Improve Air Quality And Public Health. The legislation will help communities across America meet the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) new health-based standards for ozone and fine particles.

    • Combined with new EPA requirements on diesel engine emissions, Clear Skies will help thousands of Americans with asthma and other respiratory illnesses and reduce the risks from mercury.
    • Clear Skies will also improve visibility in some of the most popular national parks, and Clear Skies will improve the health of our ecosystems by reducing acid rain and mercury deposition.

    Clear Skies Uses A Proven, Market-Based Approach. The legislation will help communities reach air quality goals while keeping energy affordable for American consumers and businesses.

    • Cuts pollution further, faster, cheaper, and with more certainty than current clean air programs by using an emissions trading program that creates an economic incentive for early reductions.
    • Encourages use of the newest technologies to control emissions from coal-fired power plants.
    • Helps communities meet health-based air quality standards without significantly increasing the price of electricity. This allows manufacturers to expand and grow businesses and create jobs.

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