It is easy to look at the escalating gasoline prices and say that the answer is a need for more oil and that oil producing countries like Saudi Arabia should just increase production. However, that would not solve our problem. We have to be able to refine it. As posted earlier, “The Environmentalist War on the Price of Gasoline”, environmentalist have paralyzed the oil refinement in the US to an all but standstill. It is incomprehensible that a new oil refinery has not been built in this country in 25 years. How can this be? How can an industrial nation like the United Stated allow this to occur? We need an energy policy in this country not only to keep cost down, supply a growing economy, but also to protect us from the dependence on foreign oil. There is no reason why this country does not maximize and create greater efficiency in the processing and refinement areas. There is a difference between existing and alternative energy. We need an energy policy NOW.
Ask and you shall receive. According to Reuters, President George W. Bush in another bold move will announce Wednesday the proposal of encouraging new oil refineries be built at closed military bases and jump-starting construction of new nuclear power plants.
Under pressure over high energy prices, President Bush on Wednesday will propose tackling the root causes of the problem by encouraging new oil refineries be built at closed military bases and jump-starting construction of new nuclear power plants.
In a speech, Bush will also propose giving federal regulators the lead authority to decide where to locate terminals for processing imported natural gas. States have increasingly been taking the lead on this issue.
And the president will propose adding vehicles that use clean-burning diesel fuel to the list of automobiles eligible for $2.5 billion in tax credits over 10 years to encourage further use of this technology. Other eligible vehicles are hybrids powered by gasoline and electricity and fuel-cell vehicles.
Senior Bush administration officials unveiled details of the president’s proposals on Tuesday night. It will be his second energy speech in a week.
A Washington Post-ABC News poll showed that less than half of Americans support the way the president is handling energy policy. Bush met Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah at his Texas ranch on Monday but reached no agreement that would lower gasoline prices in the near term.
Energy legislation is moving on Capitol Hill. The House of Representatives has passed a version, while the Senate will begin debate next month. Administration officials want to work with congressional leaders to include Bush’s proposals.
Speaking to small business leaders on Wednesday, Bush will call on federal agencies to encourage construction of new oil refineries at the sites of former military bases closed in recent years.
The agencies would work with states, local communities and potential investors to encourage the use of the sites, the administration officials said.
The lack of adequate refining capacity is frequently cited by experts as one reason why gasoline prices have surged dramatically in recent years. No new refineries have been built in recent years even though the demand for gasoline has risen.
On nuclear, Bush will propose offering companies risk insurance to mitigate the cost of delays due to any potential failures in the licensing process. The last generation of nuclear power plants was built in the 1970s and 1980s.
“There is a new and better licensing process. However, there is substantial uncertainty with potential investors about the ability to move through the new licensing process,” one senior official said.
Liquefied natural gas terminals take compressed, supercold natural gas shipped from overseas and warm it into usable energy. Only four such terminals exist in the United States amid increasing demand for natural gas.
Bush will propose the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission become the lead authority in granting licenses, overruling what has increasingly become state jurisdiction.
A senior official said there are 32 proposals to build new terminals, and Bush’s proposal would “provide some regulatory certainty” in order to get them built. Rules on the terminals vary from state to state, and California, for example, has not wanted to cede state authority.
Its about time. So what brilliant response will we hear from Democrats? Bush can’t do that, he’ll destroy all mankind because he’s evil. He’s just doing this for his oil buddies. I am sure that democrats will have no answers or ideas just complaints. Let Democrats explain to the American people that their obstruction to Bush’s energy plan was responsible for the publics continued high prices of gas.
It is obvious that any energy policy needs a present, short term and long term aspect to it. Energy production, oil refinement, alternative fuel sources, oil drilling as well as conservation. However, it must start somewhere and this is as good as any as we have a President who has the guts to make the tough calls.
Update: From AP, Bush Gives Energy Plan Amid High Prices
“This problem did not develop overnight and it’s not going to be fixed overnight. But it’s now time to fix it,” he said. Bush said the problem is that energy supplies are not growing fast enough to meet the growing demand in the United States and in other countries
“See, we’ve got a fundamental question we got to face here in America,” Bush said. “Do we want to continue to grow more dependent on other nations to meet our energy needs? Or, do we need to do what is necessary to achieve greater control of our economic destiny?”
America has not ordered a new nuclear power plant since the 1970s. Bush said that France has built 58 plants in the same period and today France gets more than 78 percent of its electricity from nuclear power.
“It’s time for America to start building again,” he said.
Bush urged using closed military bases as sites for new oil refineries. The Energy Department is being ordered to step up discussions with communities near such bases to try to get refineries built. He said the United States has not built a new oil refinery since the 1970s.
Added to OTB’s Beltway Traffic Jam