For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
December 15, 2008
Fact Sheet: Diversifying Our Energy Supply and Confronting Climate Change
In Focus: Environment
President Bush Has Strengthened America’s Energy Security And Taken Constructive Steps To Confront Climate Change
President Bush has taken a reasoned, balanced approach to the serious challenges of energy security and climate change. The President supports a climate change policy that takes advantage of new clean energy technologies; increases our use of alternative fuels; works towards an international agreement that will slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases; and includes binding commitments from all major economies.
Since President Bush took office, the Federal Government has invested more than $44 billion for climate-change and energy security programs, including more than $22 billion for technology research, development, and demonstration. Technology funding for 2008 alone exceeded $4 billion.
President Bush signed laws giving the Department of Energy the authority to provide more than $67 billion in loans and guarantees to help support innovative energy projects to reduce greenhouse gases and air pollution and to retool auto plants to produce more efficient vehicles. Under the new authority, up to $42.5 billion has been made available for innovative technology loan guarantees, of which $18.5 billion in loan guarantees will support construction of new nuclear plants and reduce interest costs for building plants. A significant portion of the more than $4 billion spent annually on Farm Bill conservation programs will also go to efforts to sequester greenhouse gases.
President Bush called for and signed new Federal mandates and his Administration has worked with States to adopt mandatory programs cutting emissions and improving energy security in every major sector. The new Federal mandates will reduce greenhouse gas emissions billions of tons below projections.
The President led a global agreement that will dramatically cut emissions of a potent greenhouse gas by more than what the Kyoto Protocol might achieve.
In April 2008, the President announced a new national goal to stop the growth in United States greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 and reverse it thereafter. This would prevent billions of metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions from entering the atmosphere.
From 2002 to 2006, United States greenhouse gas emissions increased by only 1.9 percent, while the economy grew 12.6 percent. In 2002, President Bush set a national goal to reduce greenhouse gas intensity 18 percent by 2012. We are well on track to meet or exceed that goal.
This year, President Bush removed the executive prohibition on offshore exploration for oil and gas. In addition, the President successfully pressured Congress to remove its ban on offshore exploration and took steps to increase domestic oil exploration to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
The United States Is Reducing Emissions And Dependence On Oil By Increasing The Use Of Renewable Fuels And Improving Energy Efficiency
Ethanol production has quadrupled from 1.6 billion gallons in 2000 to an estimated 6.5 billion gallons in 2007. In 2005, the United States became the world’s leading ethanol producer, and last year, the United States accounted for nearly half of worldwide ethanol production.
The Administration has dedicated more than $1 billion to advance cellulosic ethanol made from switchgrass, wood chips, and other non-food sources. Since the President took office, the projected cost of cellulosic ethanol has dropped by more than 60 percent.
Last year, the United States produced about 490 million gallons of biodiesel – up 96 percent from 2006. Today, there are more than 968 biodiesel fueling stations, and hundreds of fleet operators use biodiesel to fuel their trucks. Every year, more Americans are realizing the benefits of biodiesel, which can be produced from soybeans and other vegetable oils, including waste products like recycled cooking grease.
Over the last five years, the Federal Government has invested approximately $1.2 billion in hydrogen research and development to help bring hydrogen fuel cell vehicles to market. These vehicles use no gasoline at all and emit clean, pure water.
In 2007, President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA), which responded to his “Twenty in Ten” challenge to expand alternative fuels and improve vehicle fuel economy. Although the President’s proposed alternative fuel standard would have gone further and faster than this legislation, EISA represents a major step forward in expanding the production of renewable fuels, reducing our dependence on oil, and confronting global climate change.
Additionally, EISA advances other energy efficiency initiatives:
The United States Is Reducing Dependence On Fossil Fuels By Replacing Them With Alternative Energy Sources To Power Our Homes And Workplaces
Since 2001, the United States has increased wind energy production by more than 400 percent. Last year, more than 20 percent of new electrical generating capacity added in the United States came from wind – up from just three percent a few years ago. Wind power now supplies one percent of the United States’ electricity.
Between 2000 and 2007, the United States’ solar energy capacity doubled – and last year, the United States’ solar installations grew by more than 32 percent.
The Administration also launched the Nuclear Power 2010 program and other significant efforts that helped encourage industry to submit 17 applications for 26 new nuclear reactors in the United States.
The Administration invested more than $300 million in research and development of nuclear energy technologies in 2007 alone.
The Administration Is Leading The Way Toward An International Agreement To Slow, Stop, And Reverse The Growth Of Greenhouse Gases
The Administration launched an innovative series of meetings with the world's major economies that use the most energy and emit the most greenhouse gases. Since President Bush launched the Major Economies Meeting (MEM) in May 2007 there has been growing international agreement that, to be effective, a global framework will require commitments from all major economies – both industrialized and emerging – to take actions to reduce emissions.
President Bush has proposed $2 billion over the next three years to create an international Clean Technology Fund to address the growing problem of accelerating greenhouse gas emissions in major developing countries. With contributions from Australia, Japan, the U.K., and other countries, this fund will accelerate the deployment of cleaner, more efficient technologies in developing nations with large greenhouse gas emissions.
The United States launched technology programs, such as the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, with 21 partners so far, to pursue technology breakthroughs to support the long-term expansion of clean, safe, proliferation-resistant nuclear power here and around the world – and develop better ways to deal with the waste. The United States is leading similar technology partnerships on carbon capture and storage, hydrogen, fusion, renewable energy, energy efficiency, and bio-fuels.
The United States has also launched a series of practical international partnerships to cut emissions, improve energy security, and foster sustainable development. These include the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate Change (with Australia, Canada, China, India, Korea, and Japan), the Methane to Markets Partnership (with 20 nations), and work on tropical forest conservation and stopping illegal logging.
The United States has led the way in proposing in WTO Doha negotiations an agreement to eliminate tariffs and non-tariff barriers on environmental goods and services, including technologies that will make a significant contribution to greenhouse gas reduction and improved energy security.
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