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 Home > News & Policies > July 2008

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 29, 2008

Fact Sheet: Committed to Cleaner, More Abundant Domestic Energy
President Bush And His Administration Are Working To Advance Energy On All Fronts And Call On Congress To Take Action

     Fact sheet President Bush Discusses Energy and Economy
     Fact sheet In Focus: Energy

Today, President Bush toured the Lincoln Electric Company in Cleveland, Ohio, and discussed his Administration's actions to address high gasoline prices. The President and his Administration are working to create greater energy security for our Nation. With the understanding that there is no short-term solution to high energy prices, President Bush is taking action to expand domestic production, increase vehicle efficiency, and promote alternative fuels to reduce the impact on American families. The President recognizes that we cannot rely on just one energy source; we need all of them. With only three days left before leaving for yet another recess, the Democrat-led Congress has failed to take action to improve our energy security.

We Must Take Essential Steps To Strengthen Domestic Oil Production

President Bush has called on Congress to expand oil and natural gas production. To reduce pressure on prices, President Bush recognizes, we need to increase the supply of oil – especially here at home. One of the most important steps we can take to expand domestic oil and natural gas production is to increase access to offshore exploration in the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). In June, President Bush called on Congress to lift the legislative ban on exploration in currently restricted areas of the OCS, but Congress has not taken action. Recently, the President lifted the executive branch restrictions on this exploration. Now, the only thing standing between the American people and this offshore oil is the United States Congress.

  • Lifting the ban would allow our Nation to take advantage of a large and reliable source of domestic oil. Experts believe that these restricted areas could eventually produce about 18 billion barrels of oil. This would match nearly 10 years' worth of our current annual production. These areas also hold an abundance of natural gas.

  • Lifting the ban would create new opportunities for American workers and businesses. Bringing oil from the OCS online could require dozens of new drilling rigs and tens of thousands of miles of new pipeline, which will create thousands of new construction jobs and give American companies new avenues for expansion and the economy a much needed boost.

  • Lifting the ban would still ensure new production meets high environmental standards. As a result of advances in technology, we can now conduct oil exploration in the OCS in a way that is out of sight, protects coral reefs and habitats, and protects against oil spills.

The President has also called on Congress to move forward with additional steps to expand American production of oil and natural gas:

  • Congress should clear the way for our Nation to tap into the extraordinary potential of oil shale.
  • Congress should permit exploration in currently restricted areas of northern Alaska – which could produce roughly the equivalent of two decades of imported oil from Saudi Arabia.
  • Congress should enable the expansion and enhancement of our domestic refining capacity – so that America will no longer have to import millions of barrels of fully refined gasoline from abroad.

The President And His Administration Have Taken Bold Action To Increase Fuel Efficiency Standards And Increase The Use Of Alternative Fuels

In December 2007, Congress responded to the President's "Twenty in Ten" challenge by passing the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 (EISA), which mandates that fuel producers use at least 36 billion gallons of biofuel by 2022. The President's "Twenty in Ten" challenge called for a 20 percent reduction in oil use by 2010 through improved vehicle fuel economy and increased alternative fuels. EISA also requires a national fuel economy standard of 35 miles per gallon by 2020 – which will increase fuel economy standards by 40 percent and save billions of gallons of fuel.

This April, Transportation Secretary Mary Peters announced a new proposed rule under EISA authority to save billions of gallons of fuel and dramatically reduce carbon emissions from vehicles. Under the proposed rule, the fuel economy on a fleet-wide basis will increase by an average of 4.5 percent annually through 2015 – a 25 percent improvement over the current standard. This standard exceeds the 3.3 percent average annual increase needed to reach the target passed by Congress last year.

Recognizing The Need To Use All Energy Sources, The Administration Continues to Support Increased Investments In Alternative Energy

President Bush is moving toward a future of cleaner, more abundant domestic supplies of energy. The Administration is working to expand the use of clean, safe nuclear power, solar and wind power, and clean coal technology. The President and his Administration have worked to expand the use of alternative fuels and raise fuel efficiency standards, as well as investing in new advanced batteries, plug-in hybrids, and hydrogen fuel cells.

  • Since 2001, the Federal Government has provided nearly $18 billion in funding to research, develop, and promote alternative energy technologies that help to improve our energy security. The President's 2009 budget seeks more than $3.5 billion for alternative energy technologies. Working with Congress on a bipartisan basis, the President now has available more than $40 billion in Federal loan guarantees for technologies that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases or air pollutants, including nuclear, large-scale renewables, and clean coal technologies.

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