Today, President Bush Traveled To West Sacramento, California, And Marked Earth Day By Discussing His Agenda To Help Develop Advanced Transportation Technology. On Earth Day, Americans celebrate our country's natural beauty and renew our commitment to be good stewards of our air, water, and land. As part of that commitment, the President has proposed the Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) to accelerate research into cleaner, alternative energy sources.
The President Toured The California Fuel Cell Partnership, Which Is Advancing The Most Promising Long-Run Alternative To Gasoline - Hydrogen. Bringing together auto makers, energy companies, fuel cell technology companies, and Federal and State agencies, the Partnership is showing that hydrogen is the fuel of the future. Hydrogen can power a car that uses no gasoline and produces virtually no air pollution or greenhouse gas emissions. The Partnership has helped place more than 100 hydrogen-powered vehicles on California roads, and the fueling station the President visited today has filled vehicles with hydrogen almost 6,000 times.
Earth Day 2006: The President's Commitment To A Cleaner Environment
The President Is Pursuing Common-Sense Policies To Conserve The Environment. By focusing on results and listening to citizens who know the land the best, the Administration has compiled a strong environmental record. This Earth Day, America's air is cleaner, our water is purer, and our land is better cared for than when the President took office.
America's Air Is Cleaner. The President has set and enforced tough standards for air quality. Since the President took office, air pollution has dropped by more than 12 percent. The Administration is implementing new clean air rules that will reduce power-plant pollution by approximately 70 percent and cut pollution from diesel fuel engines by more than 90 percent. This includes the first-ever national cap on mercury emissions from power plants.
America's Water Is Purer. Two years ago, the President set a goal to restore, improve, or protect at least 3 million acres by 2009. Today, the Administration is more than halfway toward meeting that goal. So far, 1.8 million acres of wetlands have been restored, improved, or protected. The President is also taking action to protect our oceans, coasts, and Great Lakes, by implementing a new oceans policy to help end overfishing, rebuild fisheries, conserve coastal and marine habitats, and promote education and undersea exploration.
America's Land Is Better Protected. Under the Farm Bill the President signed in 2002, funding for conservation programs increased by 80 percent. Over 10 years, nearly $40 billion is being provided to help farmers and ranchers protect wildlife habitats and other natural resources. Through the President's Healthy Forest Initiative, we have cleared away dangerous underbrush and reduced the risk of catastrophic fire on more than 15 million acres of land. By the end of this summer, another five million acres will have been treated.
America's National Parks Are Improved. Upon taking office, the President pledged to spend $4.9 billion dollars over five years to reduce the maintenance backlog in national parks such as Yosemite, Death Valley, and Joshua Tree. With his budget this year, the President is keeping this promise.
The Achievements Of The Past Five Years Are Part Of A Larger Record Of Success. In the 36 years since the first Earth Day, air pollution in America has been reduced by 50 percent, and over the same period, our economy has tripled in size. This record proves that environmental protection and economic prosperity can go together. And technology is what makes that possible.
The Advanced Energy Initiative - Pursuing Cleaner, More Efficient Energy Technologies
The Advanced Energy Initiative (AEI) Will Help Break America's Dependence On Foreign Sources Of Oil By Developing Cleaner, More Reliable Energy Sources. Since the President took office, we have spent nearly $10 billion to develop cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy sources. That funding has put us on the verge of remarkable breakthroughs. The AEI will accelerate breakthroughs and transform the way we power cars and trucks by investing aggressively in three promising technologies: hydrogen, hybrid vehicles, and ethanol. By researching and developing these technologies, America will meet the President's goal of replacing more than 75 percent of oil imports from the Middle East by 2025.
The President's Hydrogen Fuel Initiative Is Helping Move Hydrogen Technology From The Labroom To The Showroom. In his 2003 State of the Union Address, President Bush pledged $1.2 billion over five years for hydrogen research and development. So far, more than $600 million has been provided to these efforts, and the President's 2007 budget will provide another $289 million.
The Hydrogen Fuel Initiative Is Producing Results. Since 2003, researchers have used Federal funding to double the lifetime of the hydrogen fuel cell stacks that power cars and to cut the cost of manufacturing hydrogen fuel cells in half. These advances are helping to make it possible to begin moving from a hydrocarbon economy to a hydrogen economy.
Hybrid Vehicles Can Help Reduce Oil Consumption Now. Hybrid vehicles have both a gasoline-powered engine and an electric battery. These vehicles can travel about twice as far on a gallon of fuel as gasoline-only vehicles. Because hybrid vehicles use less gasoline, they will help make America less dependent on oil, and they emit less pollution and greenhouse gases. In 2005, more than 200,000 hybrids were sold in America - a record number.
The Administration Is Taking Steps To Encourage More Drivers To Buy Hybrids. The Energy Bill signed by the President in August 2005 created a tax credit of up to $3,400 for hybrid purchasers.
The Administration Is Supporting The Development Of A New Generation Of "Plug-In" Hybrids. "Plug-in hybrids" could be recharged in a standard electrical outlet. When a "plug-in hybrid" is started, the battery would be fully charged. This could allow drivers to go 40 miles on electricity alone, allowing most Americans to do their daily commute without burning a drop of gasoline. The President's FY 2007 Budget includes $31 million - a 27-percent increase over current levels - to speed up research into battery technologies.
The President Supports Ethanol As A Promising Alternative To Gasoline. Most ethanol is produced from corn and blended with gasoline to produce a clean, efficient fuel. New technology is making it possible to make ethanol from wood chips, stalks, switch grass, and other natural materials. To speed development, the President's FY 2007 budget proposes $150 million for research into homegrown fuels - a 65 percent increase over current levels. Our goal is to help new forms of ethanol become competitive with corn-based ethanol within six years so that more American drivers can choose ethanol over gasoline.