The White House
President George W. Bush
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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
May 12, 2001

Radio Address by the President to the Nation

Listen to the President's Remarks

THE PRESIDENT: Good morning. I wish every mother listening a happy Mothers Day, including my own. And I want to remind every daughter and every son to tell mom first thing tomorrow how much you love her.

Today, I want to talk about how we can meet some of our energy needs through a new kind of conservation, a 21st century conservation that saves power through technological innovation. We are near the beginning of the summer driving and air conditioning season, the months of the year when energy use rises and energy prices jump. This year, like last year, gasoline and electricity prices are rising sharply, squeezing family budgets and disrupting the lives and work of our fellow Americans.

Energy is a problem that my administration will address. This week, we will introduce a comprehensive energy plan to help bring new supplies of energy to the market, and we will be encouraging Americans to use more wisely the energy supplies that exist today.

I am very concerned about the possibility of blackouts in California this summer. My administration will do our part to help by cutting peak hour energy use at federal facilities in California. Military installations will reduce their peak hour use by 10 percent. Civilian buildings will raise their thermostats and turn off escalators and other nonessential equipment. These are immediate measures to help with an immediate problem, and I applaud the many Californians and Americans who are finding their own ways to use less energy this summer.

Over the long term, the most effective way to conserve energy is by using energy more efficiently. For example, a new refrigerator uses 65 percent less power than a refrigerator built in 1972. Overall, we use 40 percent less energy to produce new goods and services than we did in 1973.

Some think that conservation means doing without. That does not have to be the case. It can mean building sensors into new buildings to shut the lights off as soon as people leave a room. It can mean upgrading the transmission lines that deliver electricity to your home so less is wasted on the way. It can mean encouraging homeowners to invest in energy improvements.

Twenty-first century conservation harnesses new technology to squeeze as much out of a barrel of oil as we have learned to squeeze out of a computer chip. We can raise our standard of living wisely and in harmony with our environment.

Pushing conservation forward will require investment in new energy technology, and that will be a part of my administration's energy plan. Conservation will require improving appliance standards. That will also be a part of the plan. And conservation will require new incentives to encourage industry to replace outdated equipment. That will be a part of the plan as well.

But conservation will require one more thing, something that cannot be written into any plan: The problem-solving spirit of the American scientist and the American entrepreneur. My administration will take their side as they conserve and expand our energy supply for the benefit of all Americans.

Thank you very much for listening.


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